Key economic report shows weakness

The nation's annual growth rate in 2007's final quarter unrevised an anemic 0.6%.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Ben Rooney, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Economic growth was nearly flat in the last three months of 2007, according to a government report released Thursday.

The Commerce Department's final reading on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, grew at an annual rate of 0.6%, adjusted for inflation, in the fourth quarter. The reading was unchanged from the preliminary fourth-quarter reading and in line with economists' expectations.

In the third quarter, the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.9%.

Gregory Miller, chief economist at Sun Trust Banks, thinks the downward trend is likely to continue in the first quarter.

"We now have an economy that has geared down," Miller said.

"The data we've got so far suggest that the GDP number for next quarter is likely to be negative," he added.

Many economists, including Miller, believe that the economy entered a recession in the last month of 2007, when the initial GDP estimate of 0.6% was released.

Thursday's report is the latest in a string of troubling reports that indicate economic weakness.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department said orders to factories for big-ticket items fell sharply. And a report from the Census Bureau showed sales of new homes falling to their lowest level in 13 years.

Declines in the labor market have also contributed to the current softening in economic activity. However, a report released Thursday by the Labor Department found that new filings for unemployment benefits fell last week.

Overall, the anemic growth in the country's GDP suggests that the economy is facing a prolonged period of contraction, Miller said.

"It's going to be a while before we turn this around," he said. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More


Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.