Economy Shrank 1 Percent In Spring, Better Than Expected

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WASHINGTON – The government says the economy shrank at an annual rate of 1 percent in the spring, a better-than-expected showing and more evidence that the recession is drawing to a close.

The Commerce Department estimate for the change in the gross domestic product was unchanged from the initial figure it released last month. The drop, while representing a record fourth consecutive decline, was far smaller than the previous two quarters. It also was stronger than the 1.5 percent decline that private economists expected.

The new report found that businesses slashed their inventories more than first reported and cut back more sharply on investment in new plants and equipment. But those reductions were offset by revisions that showed smaller dips in consumer spending, exports and housing construction.

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