30 Apr 2009

US GDP contracts

6:24 am on 30 April 2009

The US economy continued to contract in the first quarter of 2009, led by the biggest fall in exports for 40 years.

Gross domestic product contracted at an annualised rate of 6.1% during the quarter, little improvement on the 6.3% fall in the last three months of 2008.

The Commerce Department said exports fell by 30%, as the global recession hit worldwide spending.

The BBC reports the latest figures were worse than expected. Analysts had predicted the economy would contract at a rate of 5%.

The economic decline between January and March was the third consecutive quarter of contraction - the longest period of continuous decline since 1975.