Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth affects new demand for transportation services. The third quarter of 2001 was the first quarter since the first quarter of 1993 in which GDP did not grow in real terms. However, the downturn was not protracted as there was a slight increase the fourth quarter of 2001 and a real increase in the first quarter of 2002 that was the greatest since the second quarter of 2000. It should be noted that there was a very large decrease in private inventories in the fourth quarter of 2001, which lowered the final GDP figure for that quarter. Overall, private inventories decreased more than $270 billion over the previous five quarters. (NIPA Table 1.2)
GDP is the net output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States. Real GDP is expressed in chained 1996 dollars.
|U.S. Gross Domestic Product||Q4 01||Q1 02|
|Billions of current dollars||10,263||10,429|
|Current dollars percent change from previous quarter||0.38||1.61|
|Billions of chained 1996 dollars||9,349||9,476|
|Chained 1996 dollars percent change from previous quarter||0.41||1.37|
NOTES: Quarterly GDP data are presented at an annual rate.
Chained 1996 dollars are calculated using chain-type indices, rather than constant dollars, to measure real GDP. The chain-type method first calculates the real changes between adjacent years. Annual rates of real changes are then chained (multiplied) together to obtain the rate of real changes between nonadjacent years. Chained dollars are preferable to constant dollars, which merely reflect overall price inflation, because chained dollars capture the effect of changes in the components of GDP.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis; National Income and Product Accounts data, Tables 1.1 and 1.2; May 24, 2002; available at: http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/dn/nipaweb/AllTables.asp?Selected=N#S1; based on Survey of Current Business.