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First Quarter GDP Shrinks More Than Expected

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted May 1, 2009





As expected, due to the current  freefall U.S. GDP shrank a bit the first quarter. 

Unfortunately, the shrinkage was much more than economists were expecting. 

From the Associated Press entitled: Recession still has grip on the economy 

“The economy shrank at a worse-than-expected 6.1 percent pace at the start of this year as sharp cutbacks by businesses and the biggest drop in U.S. exports in 40 years overwhelmed a rebound in consumer spending.    

The Commerce Department’s report, released Wednesday, dashed hopes that the recession’s grip on the country loosened in the first quarter. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 5 percent annualized decline.

  Instead, the economy ended up performing nearly as bad as it had in the final three months of last year when it logged the worst slide in a quarter-century, contracting at a 6.3 percent pace. Nervous consumers played a prominent role in that dismal showing as they ratcheted back spending in the face of rising unemployment, falling home values and shrinking nest eggs.    

Businesses cut spending on home building, commercial construction, equipment and software, and inventories of goods. Sales of U.S. goods to foreign buyers plunged as they retrenched in the face of economic troubles in their own countries. Even the government trimmed spending. It was the first time that happened since the end of 2005.  

All told, the economy logged its worst six-month performance since the late 1950s.”  

Of course the stock market wanted nothing to do with this bit of reality and rallied instead.  

Those green shoots are some kind of powerful. 

Related Articles: 

IMF: “The first global recession since WWII” 

The Banks Stress Over the Stress Tests 

The Great Depression’s Ben Bernanke 

Rolling Stone Slams AIG 

CBO warns Obama stimulus package harmful long term 

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