GDP Grows 5.7% in 4th Quarter But '09 Still Saw Biggest Decline Since WWII

The economy grew at 5.7% in the 4th quarter of 2009 the largest quarterly gain since the Bush years. Still the US saw the greatest economic decline in 2009 under President Obama since 1946, the first year after the end of World War II.
Reuters reported:

The economy grew at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the quickest in more than six years, as businesses made less-aggressive cuts to inventories and stepped up spending.

The Commerce Department said on Friday its first estimate put fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth at its fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003. The economy expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, growing at a 4.6 percent rate in October-December period.

“Wow, great number. It’s very solid and gives us a running start into the second half of the year when we can’t rely on government stimulus,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago…

…For the whole of 2009, the economy contracted 2.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1946, the first year after the end of World War II.

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