The US economy shrank by 3.5% last year faring better than many other countries despite the heavy economic toll caused by the pandemic, the BBC has reported.
However growth slowed in the last three months of the year, as a resurgence of virus cases prompted a fresh pullback in activity.
Output increased at an annual rate of 4% in the last three months of 2020.
That was slower than many analysts had expected – and down sharply from the rebound seen in the prior quarter.
The overall fall in 2020 reported by the US Commerce Department was the sharpest decline since 1946, when the US was demobilising after World War II. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, output was down 2.5%.
But the decline was not as bad as many had feared in the depths of the lockdowns this spring, when spending on activity like dining and travel plummeted.
And despite soaring unemployment numbers and a sharp increase in poverty, the US was not hit as badly as many other parts of the world.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the UK economy, for example, shrank by 10% last year, while Canada, Japan and Germany all dropped by more than 5%.