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A “Financial Disaster”? Economy Shrinks 0.3%, Jobless Claims Steady

Jeff Bater 30 October 2008 No Comment

The U.S. economy, weakened by the worst consumer spending in 28 years, contracted last summer, beginning a slump that some fear could turn into a deep recession.

Gross domestic product fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% annual rate July through September, the Commerce Department said Thursday in the first estimate of third-quarter GDP.

The number marked the weakest GDP figure since a 1.4% decline in third-quarter 2001.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for state unemployment benefits was unchanged last week but remained near the half million mark and above the average for the 2001 recession.

Initial claims for jobless benefits held steady at a seasonally adjusted 479,000 in the week ended Oct. 25, the Labor Department said in a weekly report Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected claims to drop by 3,000.

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