The government released a new batch of figures today, revising the 2008 fourth quarter GDP that shows a much steeper drop than originally projected:
The U.S. economy contracted more sharply than initially estimated in the fourth quarter, government data showed on Friday, as exports plunged and consumers cut spending by the most in over 28 years amid a severe recession.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product, which measures the total output of goods and services within U.S. borders, fell at an annual rate of 6.2 percent in the October-December quarter, the deepest slide since the first quarter of 1982. The government last month estimated the drop in fourth-quarter GDP at 3.8 percent.
The weaker GDP estimate reflected downward revisions to inventories and exports by the department.
The decline was worse than analysts' expectations for a 5.4 percent contraction in fourth-quarter GDP. The economy expanded 1.1 percent in 2008, the slowest pace since 2001, the department said.
The drop was particularly bad in the export sector with a 23.6% falloff. Consumer spending and business investment also showed steeper than projected losses.
Prices grew at a very low 0.8% which is the slowest inflation rate since 1997. But with the economy contracting, deflation rather than inflation will become a concern.