Fox News: The country’s fiscal health got a gut-check Wednesday after a report by the Commerce Department showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter. Despite stronger consumer spending, it’s the biggest dip the country has seen in three years.
The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The drop occurred despite stronger consumer spending and business investment.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That was a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.
Big cuts in defense spending, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles contributed to the slowdown, the Commerce Department said. The White House said while GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity, other indicators of economic performance suggest that the economy continued to recover in the fourth quarter.