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GDP Down, Less Than Predicted

The Commerce Department says the country's gross domestic product fell at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009. A 6.1 percent GDP drop had been predicted. From the Commerce Department:

The smaller decrease in real GDP in the first quarter than in the fourth reflected a larger decrease in imports, an upturn in PCE (personal consumption
expenditures) for durable goods, and a smaller decrease in PCE for nondurable goods that were partly offset by larger decreases in private inventory investment and in nonresidential structures and a downturn in federal government spending.

Consumer spending, which makes up a significant part of GDP, increased 1.5 percent this quarter, after a 4.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter.