Rebounded at 33.4%
December 22, 2020
Gross Domestic Product (Third Estimate), Corporate Profits (Revised), and GDP by
Industry, Third Quarter 2020
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 33.4 percent in
the third quarter of 2020 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released
by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP decreased
The “third” estimate of GDP released today is based on more complete source data
than were available for the "second" estimate issued last month. In the second
estimate, the increase in real GDP was 33.1 percent. The upward revision
primarily reflected larger increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE)
and nonresidential fixed investment.
The increase in third quarter GDP reflected continued efforts to reopen
businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to
COVID-19. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be
quantified in the GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2020 because the impacts
are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. For
more information, see the Technical Note.
The increase in real GDP reflected increases in PCE, private inventory
investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed
investment that were partly offset by decreases in federal government spending
(reflecting fewer fees paid to administer the Paycheck Protection Program loans)
and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the
calculation of GDP, increased.
The increase in PCE reflected increases in services (led by health care as well
as food services and accommodations) and goods (led by clothing and footwear as
well as motor vehicles and parts). The increase in private inventory investment
primarily reflected an increase in retail trade (led by motor vehicle dealers).
The increase in exports primarily reflected an increase in goods (led by
automotive vehicles, engines, and parts as well as capital goods). The increase
in nonresidential fixed investment primarily reflected an increase in equipment
(led by transportation equipment). The increase in residential fixed investment
primarily reflected an increase in brokers’ commissions and other ownership
Current dollar GDP increased 38.3 percent at an annual rate, or $1.65 trillion,
in the third quarter to a level of $21.17 trillion. In the second quarter, GDP
decreased 32.8 percent, or $2.04 trillion (table 1 and table 3). More
information on the source data that underlie the estimates is available in the
"Key Source Data and Assumptions" file on BEA’s website.
The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 3.3 percent in the third
quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.4 percent in the second quarter. The PCE price index increased 3.7 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 1.6
percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 3.4
percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.8 percent.
Gross Domestic Income and Corporate Profits
gross domestic income (GDI) increased 25.8 percent in the third quarter, in
contrast to a decrease of 32.6 percent in the second quarter. The average of
real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that
equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 29.6 percent in the third quarter, in
contrast to a decrease of 32.0 percent in the second quarter (table 1).
Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and
capital consumption adjustments) increased $499.6 billion in the third quarter,
in contrast to a decrease of $208.9 billion in the second quarter.
Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $12.1 billion in the third
quarter, compared with an increase of $26.5 billion in the second quarter.
Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $436.2 billion, in
contrast to a decrease of $145.9 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased
$51.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $89.5 billion. In the third quarter,
receipts increased $113.0 billion, and payments increased $61.7 billion.