U.S. Corporate Profit Growth Revised Higher in Annual GDP Update
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. corporations overall managed the vagaries of former President Donald Trump’s confrontational trade policies much better than previously thought, new Commerce Department figures suggest.
Corporate profits are now seen as having grown by 16.2% in the three years through 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, instead of by 11.2%. Earnings of domestic financial services firms and corporate conglomerates were among those revised higher.
The revisions, which were based on new data from the Internal Revenue Service, are part of the department’s annual update of gross domestic product and related statistics.
For the economy as a whole, the update resulted in mostly minor changes in the pattern of growth and inflation over the last five years. GDP is now calculated to have declined by 3.4% last year as the pandemic crushed the economy, instead of by 3.5%.
The update though does show that consumers have spent less on housing in recent years than previously reported. Such expenditures totaled $2.32 trillion in 2020, down from a previously published $2.43 trillion.
To arrive at the new numbers, the Bureau of Economic Analysis used a bottoms-up approach based on the government’s American Community Survey. The revision did not result in any change in the rental cost calculations that are included in the consumer price index.
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