The US economy suffered its sharpest contraction in seven years between July and September .
That as consumers cut spending and businesses reduced investment.
It came during financial market turmoil that increased concerns about a potentially lengthy US recession.
GDP number would have been worse except for a surge in federal government spending
The US economy shrank 0.3 percent, in contrast to the previous three-month period when GDP grew by 2.8 percent.
Consumption fell at an annual rate of 3.1 percent.
Disposable personal income dropped at an 8.7 percent rate in the third quarter – the steepest decline since such records were started in 1947.
Consumer spending, which is a main driver of the US economy, fell for the first time in around two decades.
The only good news was that many economists had predicted that the rate of contraction was going to be even worse that it was.