Here’s How Apple Could Save the U.S. Economy

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next-generation iPhone, which it is expected to announce this week, could give a significant boost to the U.S. economy, according to J.P. Morgan’s chief economist Michael Feroli.

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Sales of the new iPhone could add a quarter to half a percentage point to fourth-quarter annualized growth in the U.S., Feroli said Monday in a note to clients. The iPhone 5 could boost annualized GDP growth by $3.2 billion, or $12.8 billion at an annual rate, according to Feroli’s calculations.

Those calculations assume Apple sells 8 million iPhone 5s in the fourth quarter, with an average sales price of $600. With about $200 in discounted imported component costs, that means the government could factor in $400 per phone into its measure of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.

Feroli also notes that sales of the iPhone 4S far surpassed estimates when it was released in October of last year. “Given the iPhone 5 launch is expected to be much larger, we think the estimate mentioned…is reasonable,” Feroli said.

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