It was predicted that the numbers would be bad, and this morning it was confirmed that they were. During the fourth quarter of 2008 the U.S. economy shrank at its fastest pace in 26 years. The gross domestic product (GDP) -- a crucial measure of economic performance -- shrank at an annual rate of 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 as the credit crisis deepened the recession.
Some will say that 3.8% was better than expected, but I would not take much comfort in this as it will undoubtedly be revised down, and MarketWatch is reporting that the number are much closer to 5.1% if inventory is included.
The bad thing is that the economy may not have yet hit bottom.