WASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. economy turned in its weakest performance in a decade in the third quarter, shrinking at an annual rate of 1.3 percent, an even bigger drop than the government previously estimated.

The revised reading of gross domestic product released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed that consumers were frugal, companies sharply cut investment and businesses slashed excess stocks of unsold goods _ all factors contributing to the dismal showing in the July-September quarter.

GDP is the total output of goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the broadest measure of the economy's health.

The government previously estimated that the economy contracted at a rate of 1.1 percent in the third quarter and its initial estimate pegged the decline at a 0.4 percent rate.

The revised 1.3 percent rate of decline was based on more complete data and marked the weakest performance since the economy contracted at a rate of 2 percent in the first quarter of 1991, when the country was suffering through its last recession.