We were again disappointed by last week’s batch of economic data, which revealed that the U.S. economy didn’t stop getting worse in November. In fact, the economy probably got a lot worse in November than it was in October. For the second consecutive week, virtually every piece of economic data released referencing the month of November was either weaker than expected or worse than October, further solidifying the thesis that the U.S. economy contracted sharply in the current (fourth) quarter of 2008. We currently expect fourth quarter GDP to contract by at least 4.0%, which would be the weakest reading on GDP since the 1981-82 recession. The Q4 GDP data are due out in late January.

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