May 26, 2022

It is important to remember that final sales is a measure of how many domestically produced goods are sold each quarter.  But we also sell goods overseas — our exports.   And we purchase goods from other countries — our imports.

In the never-ending process of analyzing the GDP data, there is yet another series called “final sales to domestic purchasers” which measures how much U.S. residents are actually spending.  It starts with final sales, but then subtracts exports (which represents how much foreigners are buying from the U.S.) and adds imports (which represents how much U.S. residents are spending on imports).  The end result is a measure of sales by domestic purchasers.

Final sales to domestic purchasers which excludes both the change in inventories and trade, rose 2.7% in the first quarter after climbing by1.7% in the fourth quarter.  Given that final sales declined 0.4% while final sales to domestic purchases rose 2.7%, then trade subtracted 3.1% from GDP growth in the fourth the deficit for net exports widened by $193 billion.  Exports fell 5.4% in the first quarter while imports surged by 18.3%.

Stephen Slifer


Charleston, SC