Advance 3Q22 GDP was announced last week as +2.60% (annualized). Looks good, right? Particularly when you consider that soaring prices for essential goods like energy, transport, food and - most of all - housing surely put a crimp on discretionary consumer spending. But looks can be deceiving.
Turns out all of the growth, plus a bit more, came from net exports/imports. This part of GDP contributed +2.77%, a situation that is extremely rare (the US runs a perennial trade deficit), so taking this out leaves GDP at -0.17%.
And how come the US ran such an unusual trade surplus? My bet is on LNG and grain exports. Prices for both soared to all time highs during the third quarter and the US is a major exporter. Thus, a nice fat GDP number.
But prices for both have since come down sharply, so don't expect this boost to repeat next quarter.