The US economy shrank in the third quarter, official data confirmed Tuesday, as the IMF's top economist warned of a second Great Depression offering no respite from relentless gloom ahead of Christmas. The abrupt 0.5 percent contraction of gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's largest economy was seen as marking the start of a steep downturn for the United States after GDP growth of 2.8 percent in the second quarter. Stocks on Wall Street rose in early trading, however, as the contraction had been expected and was unrevised from a previous estimate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.54 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.60 percent.
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