GDP hints US recession is moderating


Gross domestic product dropped at a 5.7 per cent annual rate, the Commerce Department said, less than the 6.1 per cent estimated by the government last month. The economy contracted at a 6.3 per cent pace in the fourth quarter.
While the drop in economic activity was still steep and slightly worse than market expectations for a 5.5 per cent fall, recent data have indicated that the rate of the slowdown was easing and growth could resume by year-end.
Output has declined for three straight quarters for the first time since 1974-1975.
US stock indexes were little changed on the data, while the government bond prices trimmed losses. “The recession is easing. The second quarter is shaping up to be a smaller decline of about 3.0 to 3.5 percent. It should be the last of the negative quarters,” said Christopher Low, of FTN Financial.

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