(CNBC) The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.
The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That's a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.
The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy's ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.
There will be people who will judge how the president is doing by watching the stock market. The DOW will have its ups and downs, but at the end, the market will always flourish. The market has an inert ability to hedge itself from a complete demise. There is always room to make money in an up or down market. This is not the case with an inept president. High unemployment, wasteful spending, trillion dollar deficit, excessive taxes, Obamacare, and downgrade of our credit are the real certainties we face. This is the Obama's legacy.