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Economy - GDP contracts, but confidence rises

November 25 2008

Real gross domestic product declined more steeply in the third quarter, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today. But consumer confidence edged up by one measure.

Real GDP contracted at an annual rate of 0.5% in the third quarter, according to a preliminary estimate. The decline is bigger than last month's preliminary estimate of a 0.3% decline for the third quarter; and Reuters reported the decrease is the steepest since the third quarter of 2001.

Real GDP rose 2.8% in the second quarter

Also today, The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index, which hit a low in October, rose in November. The index now stands at 44.9 (1985=100), up from 38.8 in October.

Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said inflation expectations fell as the result of lower gas prices. However, "consumers remain extremely pessimistic and the possibility that economic growth will improve in the first half of 2009 remains highly unlikely," Franco said.

The Consumer Confidence Index is based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households.


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