New York (CNN Business)The US economy contracted for the first time in nearly six years between January and March, as the coronavirus crisis put the world in a choke hold.
America’s first-quarter GDP fell at a 4.8% annualized rate, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Wednesday.
It was the first contraction of the US economy since the first quarter of 2014, and the worst drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.
Consumer spending, the largest contributor to US GDP, declined at a 7.6% annualized rate, its deepest decline since the second quarter of 1980.
The economy came to a screeching halt in March, when businesses shut and stay-at-home orders were put in place across the country. That was enough to offset the economic activity in January and February.
In the current quarter, the economy is expected to contract even further. Even though some states are beginning to reopen, experts believe it will be some time until activity levels are back to what they were before the outbreak.
— This is a developing story. It will be updated