GDP third quarter revisions coming

John Dimsdale Dec 22, 2011

Jeremy Hobson: In just a few hours, we’ll get the final, official reading on GDP for the third quarter. That’s a measure of all of the goods and services that make up the U.S. economy. Now, I can safely say we’re not going to be anywhere near China’s 9 percent growth.

But as our Washington bureau chief John Dimsdale reports, all signs do point to an uptick.

John Dimsdale: Last spring, GDP growth was barely above 1 percent and there was talk of a double-dip recession. But by summer, GDP was up a much healthier 2 percent.

And Nigel Gault with IHS Global Insight expects fourth quarter growth will top 3 percent.

Nigel Gault: The optimism is coming from some pent up demand starting to kick in. Those people who are in work are feeling a little bit more confident, a little more willing to take the risk of making that big purchase. 

Some good domestic news is boosting that confidence. Gary Thayer is chief economist at Wells Fargo Advisers. He says jobless claims have dropped to the lowest levels in three years, and gasoline prices are falling. 

Gary Thayer: The two of those things together are positive for the consumer and I think that’s keeping them still in the market and buying goods particularly during the holiday season. So that’s helping our economy.

Still, he says, global forces, especially in Europe, remain a threat to the U.S. recovery.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.