The Commerce Department said early Thursday that the rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth increased to 2.7 percent in the third quarter of 2012, compared to its initial estimate of 2 percent a month ago. GDP grew at 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012.
Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said that a sharper than initially estimated rise in exports was the primary driver of GDP growth in the third quarter. Exports increased 1.1 percent in the quarter compared to an initial estimate of a 1.6 percent decline.
A 12.9 percent surge in military spending also contributed to the sharp upward revision.
The strong revision was expected by economists, with most expecting the GDP growth rate to be in the neighborhood of 2.6 to 2.8 percent.
Still, there were negative numbers in the revised report. The BEA reported that consumer spending in the third quarter was revised down to 1.4 percent from the initially-reported 2 percent. Likewise, business investment in capital goods was revised to a 2.2 percent decrease in the quarter from an initial estimate of a 1.3 percent fall.
The important final sales number was also revised downward to 1.9 percent from an initial 2.1 percent reading, broaching the psychological level of 2 percent.