WASHINGTON — The longest economic expansion in U.S. history faltered so much in the summer of 2000 that business output actually contracted for one quarter, the government said Wednesday in releasing a comprehensive revision of the gross domestic product.
Based on new data, the Commerce Department said that the GDP -- the value of the country's total output of goods and services -- shrank at an annual rate of 0.5% in the third quarter of 2000.
Previously, the government had said the GDP had risen at a weak annual rate of 0.6% during that quarter.
The GDP returned to positive territory in the fourth quarter of 2000, rising at an annual rate of 2.1%, before slipping back into negative territory in 2001. The first, second and third quarters of 2001 all experienced falling GDP as the country slogged through its first recession since 1990-91.
The National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of when recessions begin and end, has determined that the recession began in March 2001 and ended in November of that year.