January 30th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
Uncle Sam cut spending and businesses drew down inventories in the fourth quarter of 2012, causing the U.S. economy to contract for the first time in more than three years.
But don't start throwing around the R-word just yet.
"No one I know would seriously call this an indicator of recession," said Bill Hampel, chief economist with the Credit Union National Association.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic growth, contracted at an annual rate of 0.1% from October to December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the first quarterly contraction since the second quarter of 2009, amid the Great Recession.