March 26, 2009

Commerce confirms GDP at minus 6.3 percent

The U.S. Department of Commerce firmed up its fourth quarter's gross domestic product estimate Thursday, dropping the figure one tick to minus 6.3 percent.

Roughly in line with economists' expectations, the government's previous estimate was a 6.2 percent drop in economic output.

The report said corporate profits in the fourth quarter fell sharply, dropping $250.3 billion after a decrease of $18.5 billion in the third quarter.

Available cash for corporations also fell sharply, declining by $97 billion in the fourth quarter after rising $43 billion in the third.

For the GDP, the negative 6.3 percent reading was the weakest quarterly showing since 1982. Economists now estimate the first quarter GDP will fall between 4 percent and 5.5 percent.