So much for the so-called recovery:
The economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, suffering its first decline since the recession ended more than three years ago as businesses scaled back on restocking and government spending plunged.
Gross domestic product fell at a 0.1 percent annual rate after growing at a 3.1 percent clip in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
That was the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009 and showed the economy entering the new year with no momentum, but economists cautioned against reading too much into the decline in output.
That's an enormous drop, especially considering GDP grew by 3.1%, 1.3%, 2%, and 4.1% in the last four quarters respectively. Economists may be cautious but, as Reuters later notes, the economists it surveyed predicted continued growth of around 1.1%. None of them saw this coming.
The Spectacle Blog will be weighing in on this throughout the day. On a separate note, our own Luca Gattoni-Celli is attending the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, where Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is testifying, and will be keeping us posted.
Lots of news today. Stay tuned.