Nonresidential fixed investment in structures dropped 12 percent in the first quarter of 2012, following a 0.9 percent decrease in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Gross Domestic Product. Nonresidential fixed investment in equipment and software increased 1.7 percent for the quarter after a 7.5 percent increase in the previous quarter. Overall, nonresidential fixed investment fell 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 following a revised 5.2 percent increase in the previous quarter.
Residential fixed investment jumped 11.9 percent during the past three months following an 11.6 percent increase the previous quarter. Exports increased 5.4 percent for the quarter, with exports of goods rising 4.1 percent and exports of services rising 8.6 percent. Imports also saw an increase, up 4.3 percent for the quarter, with imports of goods up 3 percent and imports of services up 11 percent.
Federal government spending fell 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 following a 6.9 percent decrease in the previous quarter. National defense spending decreased 8.1 percent in the first three months of 2012 while federal nondefense spending decreased 0.6 percent. State and local government spending was down for the seventh straight quarter, with spending decreasing 1.2 percent during the past three months.
Personal consumption expenditures increased 2.9 percent for the quarter, with expenditures of goods increasing 6.2 percent and expenditures of services increasing 1.2 percent. Changes in real private inventories added 0.59 percent to the first-quarter change in real GDP. Real final sales of domestic product, which is GDP minus the change in private inventories, increased 1.6 percent in the quarter following a revised 1.1 percent increase in the fourth quarter.
Gross domestic purchases – purchases of goods and services by U.S. residents wherever they are produced – increased 4.6 percent for the quarter following an increase of 4.3 percent in the previous quarter.
Overall, real GDP increased 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012, after a revised 3 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2011.