Bureau of Economic Analysis — Real GDP — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S. — decreased at an annual rate of 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009, (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP decreased 6.3%.
The Times of London — The eurozone economy slumped by a record 2.5% in the first three months of the year, dragged down by Germany, which recorded the biggest drop in its GDP in nearly 40 years. The German economy, the engine room of the 16-nation eurozone, contracted by 3.8% in the first quarter of the year, battered by the fall in demand for manufactured goods. The US economy shrank by 1.6% in the same period.
MP: Notice how real GDP growth gets reported differently in the U.S. than in Europe. In the U.S., the quarterly real GDP growth rates are annualized by multiplying the quarterly percent growth rate by four (-1.6% quarterly x 4 = -6.4%, difference from -6.3% above due to rounding). European countries and the OECD report quarterly growth rates for GDP from the previous quarter, without annualizing. According to the OECD (data here) and the news report above, U.S. real GDP fell by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2009, and that rate is stated as a quarterly rate, not an annual rate.