City Economy Drops Sharply in Last Quarter of '08

New York City's economic trends at the tail end of 2008 don't bode well for the year ahead.

REPORTER: City Comptroller Bill Thompson says the "gross city product" fell for three consecutive quarters with a sharp drop of 5.5 percent between October and December of last year. That's a steep slide from the previous quarter, where the GCP fell 2.7 percent.

Marsha van Wagner Deputy Comptroller for the Budget says one sign of the flagging economy is that subway ridership fell off at the end of the year.

VAN WAGNER: Usually during November and December, you get not only people going to work but also a lot of people on the weekends shopping. And there was really not much of a Christmas this year.

REPORTER: The Comptroller's report also says holiday-season sales tax collections were down 12 percent from the year before.