"Q1 GDP Down 6.1%
The U.S. economy contracted violently again in the first quarter of the year as business investment declined at a record rate, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Real gross domestic product fell at a 6.1% annualized rate in the first quarter, nearly matching the 6.3% decline in the fourth quarter of 2008. The two-quarter contraction is the worst in more than 60 years. The big story for the first quarter was in the business sector, where firms halted new investments, and shed workers and inventories at a dizzying pace to bring down production and stockpiles to match the lower demand from U.S. and foreign markets.