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The government is also expected to release comprehensive revisions on Wednesday. Roughly every five years, the department incorporates more recent data and adjusts how it calculates GDP.
The revisions will likely show growth was faster in the first quarter and last year than previously estimated, economist say. Michelle Meyer, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, estimates the revisions could add up to a half-point to last year’s 2.2 percent growth rate.
The revisions will also alter GDP data all the way back to 1929. In one major change, the government plans to count spending on research and development as investment, rather than as a regular cost of doing business. That, along with other changes, will boost the level of GDP in 2007 by about 3 percent, or $450 billion. It isn’t likely to significantly change the pace of growth in recent years.
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