BBC
February 27, 2009

The US economy shrank by 6.2% in the last three months of 2008, official figures have shown, a far sharper fall than had previously been reported.

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Plunging exports and the biggest fall in consumer spending in 28 years dragged the figure down from the 3.8% estimate the government gave earlier.

The decline was much worse than analysts had expected.

In 2008 as a whole, the economy grew by 1.1%, the slowest pace since 2001. The Dow Jones was down 1.6% in early trade.

Recession warning

Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of domestic economic activity, fell by a rate of 4.3% in the final quarter – the biggest fall since the second quarter of 1980. This was a revision of the earlier figure of 3.5%.

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