CMS has announced that overall US health spending grew 4.4% in 2008 – the slowest rate of growth since CMS began compiling this data in 1960. CMS attributes this spending slowdown to the effects of the economic recession. Nevertheless, health spending continued to increase faster than did the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), which grew at 2.6%, according to figures released January 5, 2010. Health spending totaled $2.3 trillion in 2008, or $7,681 per person, and comprised 16.2 percent of the GDP. Health care spending by public programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, rose 6.5% in 2008, while health care spending by private sources grew only 2.6%.