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2007 GDP

The Year the Bubble Burst



The stock market hit a record as the economy showed signs of impending recession.

Photo: Getty Images

The economy grew strongly in 2007, until a drop in the fourth quarter. However, if you look at the BEA's estimates, they range from a decline of .6% to a rise of 2.9%. This just goes to prove how even the experts have a hard time realizing the economy is turning from expansion to contraction. That's why it's so incredibly difficult for the average investor to time the stock market or make decisions based on changes in the economy. It's better to be well-diversified and flexible.

When the BEA published its final estimate of Q4 growth, it said that the economy had contracted .2%in Q4 2007. It later revised the estimate up, when more data came in. At the time, however, there was much shock that perhaps a recession had started. Shortly thereafter, it did. Here's the blog posts for each GDP release in 2007. The BEA published revisions in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. The most recent revision is given first, followed by prior estimates. A record of these changes aren't easily available anywhere else.

2007 for the Year: 1.8% (1.9% in 2011 and 2.1% in 2010)

Q1: .3% (.5% in 2011, 0.9% in 2010 and 1.2% in 2009)

  • Advance Report: - The significance of 1.2% GDP growth to you.
  • Deja Vu - Dow High, GDP Low - Why the stock market hit a new high when the underlying economy dropped to a new low. How this was like March 2000, the beginning of the last recession.
  • Second Report - Why GDP was revised down to .5.
  • Third Report - GDP was revised up .1 point, to .6%, the lowest growth rate in four years.
  • In April 2008, the BEA revised Q1 2007 GDP to .1%. In July 2010, the BEA revised it again to .9%.

Q2 2007 GDP: 3.1% (3.6% in 2011 and 3.2% in 2010)

  • Advance Report: - Why it was unlikely that GDP could go from .6% in Q1 to 3.4% in Q2
  • Second Report - Why GDP was revised up to an astounding 4%.
  • Third Report - Why the Final Report was revised down slightly to 3.8%.
  • In April 2008, the BEA revised Q2 2007 GDP to 4.8%.

Q3 2007 GDP: 2.7% (3% in 2011, 2.3% in 2010 and 3.6% in 2009)

  • Advance Report: - Why GDP was still so healthy at 3.9%, why it might have declined in Q4, and the annual outlook.
  • Second Report -  The BEA surprised everyone by revising GDP growth up to 4.9%. It was based on updated information that showed higher inventory levels and exports, and lower imports (which subtract from growth). Growth benefited from the dollar's decline, which helps exports (by making them relatively cheaper and more competitive) and hurts imports (by making them more expensive). In fact, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke mentioned that the Fed expects Q4 GDP to be much lower, with the slowing trend continuing through the first part of 2008.
  • Third Report - Why the Final Report remained at a still astounding 4.9%.
  • In April 2008, the BEA revised Q3 2007 GDP to 4.8% (same as Q2 2007 revision).

Q4 2007: 1.5% (1.9% in 2011, 2.9% in 2010 and 2.1% in 2009)

  • Advance Report - Growth plummeted to .6% due to the housing market slowdown and related weak consumer spending. Coincidentally, it is the exact same number as GDP growth in Q1 2007. The last time GDP was that low was in Q1 2003, the tail-end of the last recession. The drop was expected by most economists. Unlike Q3, exports were not helped by the dollar's decline.
  • Second Report - New data confirmed growth was only .6%.
  • Third Report - No revisions. Growth still at .6%.
  • In April 2008, the BEA revised Q4 2007 GDP to -.2%, declaring the start of the current recession.

More GDP by Year

For earlier years, see U.S. GDP History

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