Friday, October 31, 2008
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Gwinnett Daily Post
WASHINGTON - A day after the Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate to a level seen only once before in the last half-century, the government is releasing its first look at how much the economy shrank in the July-September quarter. The report is expected to show that the country's gross domestic product declined by 0.5 percent.
Many analysts believe the GDP - the measure of the value of all the goods and services produced in the United States - is falling further in the current quarter and will also fall in the first three months of next year. Two consecutive quarters of declining GDP fulfill the classic definition of a recession.
The GDP rose 2.8 percent in the second quarter.
Beyond the broadest economic report, investors also will be awaiting the Labor Department's data on the number of people who sought unemployment benefits last week. Wall Street expects the figure to drop by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 475,000, according to a survey of economists by Thomson Reuters.