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US Monthly GDP Index for March 2021

03 May 2021 Ben Herzon, Ph.D. William Magee

Monthly GDP rose 2.6% in March, more than reversing a 1.4% decline in February. The increase in March was mostly accounted for by a sharp rise in personal consumption expenditures, although other positive contributions originated in nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and the portion of monthly GDP not covered by the monthly source data. Net exports and inventory investment both declined in March. The level of monthly GDP in March was only 0.4% below the February 2020 level (the pre-pandemic peak). We currently expect GDP to surpass the pre-pandemic peak this month.

US GDP assumptions March 2021

IHS Markit's index of Monthly GDP (MGDP) is a monthly indicator of real aggregate output that is conceptually consistent with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the National Income and Product Accounts. The Monthly GDP Index is consistent with the NIPAs for two reasons: first, MGDP is calculated using much of the same underlying monthly source data that is used in the calculation of GDP. Second, the method of aggregation to arrive at MGDP is similar to that for official GDP. Growth of MGDP at the monthly frequency is determined primarily by movements in the underlying monthly source data, and growth of MGDP at the quarterly frequency is nearly identical to growth of real GDP.

US GDP historical data chart through March 2021

Posted 03 May 2021 by Ben Herzon, Executive Director, Research advisory specialty solutions, S&P Global Market Intelligence and

William Magee, Economist, Economics & Country Risk, S&P Global Market Intelligence


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