June 25, 2009

GDP estimate revised to reflect spending

The U.S. Department of Commerce firmed up its estimate of the first quarter economic contraction Thursday, trimming a previous estimate to 5.5 percent.

The figure in its original estimate was a 6.1 percent contraction. A month ago, the Commerce Department shaved off some of the gloom, saying the economy shrank 5.7 percent.

The improved figure primarily reflected an upturn in personal consumption expenditures and a larger decrease in imports, the department said.

Personal spending rose 1.4 percent in the quarter, a sharp gain over the 4.3 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 when the GDP slipped 6.3 percent.

Consumer prices dropped 1 percent in the first quarter, the final estimate in accord with the figure released a month ago, Commerce said.