GDP Sees Biggest Drop in 27 Years

by Chris Sturr | January 30, 2009

Just in from Reuters:

By Lucia Mutikani |Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:33am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy shrank at its fastest pace in nearly 27 years in the fourth quarter, government data showed on Friday, sinking deeper into recession as consumers and business cut spending.

In a report that showed a broad-based contraction nearly across all sectors, the Commerce Department said gross domestic product, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, plummeted at a 3.8 percent annual rate.

That was the biggest drop since the first quarter of 1982, when output contracted 6.4 percent, and highlighted that the housing-led recession, which started in December 2007, was gathering momentum.

These were the first consecutive declines in GDP since the fourth quarter of 1990 and the first three months of 1991.

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