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The U.S. economy suffered its sharpest downturn since at least the 1940s in the second quarter, highlighting how the pandemic has ravaged businesses across the country and left millions of Americans out of work.

Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 9.5 percent in the second quarter from the first, a drop that equals an annualized pace of 32.9 percent, the Commerce Department’s initial estimate showed on Thursday. That’s the steepest annualized decline in quarterly records dating back to 1947 and compares with analyst estimates for a 34.5 percent contraction. Personal spending, which makes up about two-thirds of GDP, slumped by an annualized 34.6 percent, also the most on record.

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