This morning the BEA released an updated estimate of GDP in the July-September period of 2005.
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 4.3 percent in the third quarter of 2005, according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.3 percent… The major contributors to the increase in real GDP in the third quarter were personal consumption expenditures (PCE), equipment and software, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment.
…The preliminary estimate of the third-quarter increase in real GDP is 0.5 percentage point, or $12.9 billion, higher than the advance estimate issued last month. The upward revision to the percentage change in real GDP primarily reflected upward revisions to residential fixed investment, to personal consumption expenditures for nondurable goods, to equipment and software, and to nonresidential structures that were partly offset by an upward revision to imports of goods.
So clearly the economy continued to plow doggedly ahead during the summer of 2005, thanks a large part to consumer spending and residential construction. But it wasn’t just consumers driving economic growth – business investment spending contributed a respectable amount to growth, as did government spending (though obviously the latter is not necessarily a good thing). The only weak spot in the whole report really seems to be export growth, which was basically non-existent. But all in all, a strong report.