According to CNN, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product–the total value of all final goods and services produced in a particular economy) in first quarter 2009 shrank almost as much as it did in the fourth quarter 2008. The numbers for first quarter 2009 are pretty bleak: A 6.1% decline in total GDP. See, while consumer spending rose something near 2%, businesses cut their spending by something like 10%. What exactly does this mean? Well, a couple of things. It’s not as terrible a sign as it was a few months ago, mainly because investors on Wall Street are still seeming fairly optimistic (that is, the DOW is set to open up at the time of this writing).
So while the news is bad, the silver lining comes in how people react to it. Of course, throw in panic about the H1N1 flu virus, and pretty much anything can happen.