U.S. GDP declined 5.5% in Q1, rate of descent slows

Investors may want to evaluate the final Q1 U.S. Gross Domestic Product report this way: The worst is over.

The U.S. economy has just registered its worst two-quarter performance in two years, including a 5.5 percent GDP decline in Q1, with businesses cutting back on investment at a very fast pace, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Thursday. The economy also contracted 6.3 percent in Q4 2008.

A Bloomberg News survey had expected Q1 GDP to decline 5.7 percent. The Commerce Department's earlier Q1 GDP estimate was a 6.1 percent decline. The U.S. government revises its GDP estimate as it receives more information on a respective quarter not available earlier. In 2008, the world's largest economy grew a scant 1.1 percent -- or well below capacity.