Economy slows less than expected

The U.S. economy contracted at a 3.8 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, less than expected but still at its weakest since 1982, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Economists expected growth would shrink in an annual rate of 5.4 percent, according to Reuters. A survey by the Wall Street Journal showed economists expected a 5.5 percent drop.

The Gross Domestic Product fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter. In 2008 the GDP rose 1.3 percent, the weakest since 2001.

The U.S. economy entered into an economic recession in December 2007, seen as the worst since World War II.