Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 13:52 UK

US economy shrinks at slower pace

A construction worker on a new residential and commerical building construction site in Los Angeles
The economy is not doing as badly as was estimated last month

The US economy shrank in the first three months of 2009 at a slower pace than had originally been estimated by the Commerce Department.

Gross domestic product (GDP) declined by an annual rate of 5.7% in the first quarter, less than the 6.1% that had been estimated in April.

It also turned out that corporate profits after taxes had risen by 1.1% over the period.

This is the first time corporate profits had risen for a year.

GDP measures the total value of goods and services produced in a country.

It has shrunk for three consecutive quarters in the US - the first time that has happened since 1975.

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