The economy shrank unexpectedly in the fourth quarter, hurt by the biggest drop in defense spending in four decades, Bloomberg reported.
Gross domestic product, the volume of all goods and services produced, dropped at a 0.1 percent annual rate, according to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce. That was the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009.
It was also worse than any economist surveyed by Bloomberg predicted.
A decline in government outlays and smaller gain in stockpiles subtracted a combined 2.6 percentage points from the growth rate.
Another report showed that companies took on more workers than projected in January. The 192,000 increase in employment, the most since last February, followed a revised 185,000 gain in December, according to ADP Research Institute.