Area Development
The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2008 shrank at a 0.5 percent annual pace, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was unchanged from the department's earlier estimate and in line with industry analysts' average predictions. The GDP is a measure of all goods and services produced in the economy. The decrease was the largest since a 1.4 percent decline in the third quarter of 2001. The Wall Street Journal reports that economists believe the fourth-quarter figure will show a possible 6 percent decline; preliminary estimates for the quarter are due in late January.