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Originally published Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Business Digest

GDP growth rate below estimate

The Commerce Department reported Friday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at a 2. 8 percent annual rate in the April-June period...


The Commerce Department reported Friday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the April-June period. That wasn't as strong as the 3.3 percent growth estimate made a month ago.

But it did mark a pickup after two terrible quarters. The economy barely grew in the first quarter — advancing at a feeble 0.9 percent pace. In the final quarter of last year, the economy actually shrank.

Nonetheless, the lower reading for second-quarter GDP surprised economists who had been expecting the government to stick with the 3.3 percent growth estimate.


KB Home revenue plunges 56 percent

KB Home, one of the nation's largest home builders, said Friday its third-quarter loss quadrupled from the year-ago period, missing Wall Street's expectations as revenue plunged by 56 percent amid falling sales and home prices.

Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said weak demand for new homes — half of the company's homebuyers backed out of their contracts in the quarter — and falling home values don't appear likely to improve significantly in the near term. He also blamed rising foreclosures and tight lending standards for the company's poor results.

Mortgage finance

3 top executives leave Freddie Mac

Three top executives are departing mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac, which was seized by the government nearly three weeks ago.

Freddie Mac said its chief financial officer, Anthony Piszel; chief business officer Patricia Cook; and Timothy McBride, senior vice president for government and industry relations; are leaving the company, effective immediately.


McBride's departure comes after the government banned all lobbying activities at Freddie Mac and its sibling company, Fannie Mae, as part of the Sept. 7 government takeover.

Freddie Mac named David Kellermann, previously the company's senior vice president and corporate controller, as acting chief financial officer, reporting directly to new CEO David Moffett.

The company said it would undertake an external search to fill the CFO position permanently.

Compiled from The Associated Press

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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