BEA Releases Third (Final) Estimate of Third Quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
COVID-19 Impact on the Third-Quarter 2020 GDP Estimate
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.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 33.4 percent in the third quarter of 2020, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 31.4 percent.
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.
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 transfer costs.
In the third estimate, the change in third-quarter real GDP was revised up 0.3 percentage point from the second estimate. The updated estimates primarily reflected upward revisions to consumer spending and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to exports.
Real GDP by Industry
The December 2020 release includes estimates of GDP by industry, or value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP. Private goods-producing industries increased 47.2 percent, private servicesproducing industries increased 35.1 percent, and government increased 10.1 percent. Overall, 21 of 22 industry groups contributed to the third-quarter increase in real GDP. Within private goods-producing industries, the leading contributor to the increase was durable goods
manufacturing (led by motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts). Within private services-producing industries, the leading contributors to the increase were health care and social assistance (led by ambulatory health care); accommodation and food services (led by food services and drinking places);
retail trade; and wholesale trade. The increase in government reflected increases in both state and local government and federal government. Offsetting these increases was a decrease in mining in the third quarter (led by support activities for mining).