Adjusted pretax corporate profits fell at a 1.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter and company earnings posted the first decline in 2014 since the middle of the Great Recession, government figures show. Adjusted profits dropped by an annualized $30.4 billion after an $64.5 billion gain in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. For the full year, adjusted profits slipped 0.8% to $2.09 trillion. The last time profits fell was in 2008 when a recession was in full swing. Banks and other finance companies showed lower earnings, while nonfinancial firms modestly increased profits. Profit figures are adjusted for depreciation and the value of inventories.
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