The government says the economy shrank at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century. Consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the country deeper into recession.
The Commerce Department figure shows the economy sinking much faster than the 3.8 percent annualized drop for the October-December quarter first estimated by the government last month.
It also was a considerably weaker performance than the 5.4 percent annualized decline economists expected.
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