The Shape of Global Poverty
Four Months from Mortgage Rate Changes to Changes in Home Sales

Fourth Quarter GDP (Advance) Economy

An annual growth rate of 0.6%:

Shobhana Chandra: Economy: The U.S. economy teetered on the edge of a recession in the fourth quarter as home construction fell the most in 26 years and Americans cut back on spending. Gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent, down from 4.9 percent in the prior three months, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The pace of growth was half that forecast in a Bloomberg News survey and the slowest since the first quarter of last year.

We're on the verge of a recession,'' said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight Inc., a Lexington, Massachusetts-based forecasting firm.The consumer really is tapped out. The housing numbers are going to keep getting worse, at least through mid-year.''

The Federal Reserve reduced its benchmark rate by half a percentage point today to 3 percent. Combined with last week's three-quarter point cut, it is the fastest easing of monetary policy since 1990. The world's largest economy is reeling from the collapse in subprime lending, falling house prices and a credit squeeze that's eroding business and consumer confidence. Factories also made fewer cars....

all of 2007, the economy expanded 2.2 percent, the least in five years, to $11.6 trillion after adjusting for inflation. We're not happy with the number,'' Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said in an interview with Bloomberg Television after the report.We need a booster shot before the economy gets sick,'' he added, referring to a stimulus package lawmakers are considering in Congress...