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GDP Declines

7:36 AM MDT | May 27, 2009 | ARNOLD PEARLMAN

U.S. GDP fell at an annualized rate of 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009, its third consecutive quarterly decline. GDP fell 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008, and is now 2.6% below year-ago levels. The severity of the most recent drop was widely anticipated, but analysts say the data contains some surprises: Consumer spending rose 2.2%, after declining for two quarters; household purchases of durables rose 9.4%, with automobile and household goods purchases increasing substantially compared with the previous quarter; and nondurable spending rose modestly. On the...

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