According to the final estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent during the first quarter of 2013, a downward revision from the prior estimate of 2.4 percent annual growth. In comparison, real GDP growth was was a very weak 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Growth in real GDP during the first quarter of 2013 was tempered by government spending which contracted at an 8.7 percent annual rate and consumer spending which grew at a tepid 2.4 percent annual rate.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas expects modest to moderate economic growth through the remainder of the year as employment growth is projected to accelerate to an annualized rate between 1.8 and 2.2 percent during the second half of 2013, while inflation is forecast in the range of 1.5 to 2 percent over the next year. As of June 2013, the Federal Reserve Board Members and Federal Reserve Bank Presidents projected the change in real GDP for 2013 would be in the range of 2.0 to 2.6 percent.
Fortunately, we live in Texas which accounted for 9 percent of the the total U.S. GDP in 2012 and should continue to garner a large portion of future gains in total U.S. economic growth. Although the largest share of Texas’ annual growth in 2012 GDP (1.38 percent) occurred in the mining, logging and construction sector resulting from the boom in energy-related businesses, the Texas economy is diversified with a highly educated workforce and relatively low business costs that position the state for sustained economic expansion. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts expects Texas to achieve 3.4 percent annual growth in GDP in 2013, much stronger than the 2 to 2.6 percent growth anticipated for the U.S., led by gains in the Professional and Business Services, Trade, Transportation and Utilities, and Manufacturing sectors.