The Department of Commerce reported Tuesday that corporate profits increased over $44 billion in the third quarter to $1.65 trillion, a 27.8% increase from the third quarter of 2009, and the highest on record. Profits for the second quarter were $1.61 trillion.
The New York Times noted that corporate profits have been doing "extremely well" for a while, attributing the "breakneck pace" to "strong productivity growth — which means companies have been able to make more with less — as well as the fact that some of the profits of American companies come from abroad."
Corporations lost $57.8 billion in current-production cash flow for the third quarter; in the second quarter, current-production cash flow gained $61.1 billion.
Taxes increased $31.8 billion. Profits after tax increased as well, though decidedly lower than second quarter increases: $12.6 billion in the third quarter compared with $45.2 billion in the second quarter.
Pre-tax profits jumped $76.3 billion, compared with an increase of $15.3 billion in the second quarter. The report noted that this measure doesn't take into account capital consumption and inventory valuation adjustments. The capital consumption adjustment $1.4 billion in the third quarter and the inventory valuation adjustment fell $33.2 billion.