The U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter for the first time since the recession, but the nation appeared to hew to a mild growth path if unusual factors are stripped out.
Gross domestic product contracted by a 0.1% annual rate, down from 3.1% growth in the third quarter, based on the first of three readings by the Commerce Department.
That was well below the MarketWatch consensus forecast of 1.0% increase. The advance GDP report, however, relies on some estimates and is often subject to sharp revisions. Read “Five reasons the GDP is misleading.”