Real gross domestic product fell at an annual rate of 0.5% in the third quarter, the federal government said Tuesday, following a 2.8% increase in the second quarter.

The figures, from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, matched the preliminary third-quarter GDP numbers issued in November.

The decline in GDP, a measure of the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S., reflected negative contributions frompersonal consumption expenditures, residential fixed investment and equipment and software.

However, that was partly offset by positive contributions from federal government spending, private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential structures and state and local government spending. Imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, retreated.

Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation's output of goods and services, rose 3.4%, or $118.3 billion, in the third quarter to $14.4 trillion. In the second quarter, current-dollar GDP was up 4.1%, or $143.7 billion.

This article was written by a staff member of