The United States economy shrank again in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The Commerce Department reported that gross domestic product contracted at a rate of 3.8% in the fourth quarter.
It was the sharpest quarterly decline since 1982. However, it was not as deep as analysts had expected.
President Barack Obama said the report highlighted the need for quick government action.
The president said: "The recession is deepening and the urgency of our economic crisis growing."