Reported GDP would have been much worse had the government (Federal and State) not stepped in with spending and balance sheet. Per the BEA release:
Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 13.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 6.6 percent in the second. National defense increased 18.0 percent, compared with an increase of 7.3 percent. Nondefense increased 5.1 percent, compared with an increase of 5.0 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 1.3 percent, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent.
And this was only through Q3, before trillions of dollars in guarantees and cash were put into the system. As can be seen below, government spending at both the Federal and State level has continued its steady climb over the past 8 years.
Get ready for a spike. How large will it be? Well, according to the UPI:
With government spending accelerating with financial bailout funds and a possible economic stimulus package on the way, government's share of the economy is projected to exceed 25 percent of the nation's $14.4 trillion economy in 2009, USA Today reported Thursday.Source: BEA
The previous record in the post-World War II era was 23.5 percent, set in 1983. In 1943 and 1944, government spending hit 44 percent of the total economy.