The economy grew for a second straight quarter from October through December, posting a 5.7 percent annual rate, the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003.Romer:
The Commerce Department report is the strongest evidence to date that the worst recession since the 1930s ended last year, though an academic panel that dates recessions has yet to officially declare an end to it.
The two straight quarters of growth last year followed a record four quarters of economic decline. Still, the growth at the end of last year was primarily fueled by companies refilling depleted stockpiles, a trend that will soon fade. AP
Christina Romer, the head of the Council of Economic Advisers, called the growth "the most positive news to date on the economy" in a statement. "While positive GDP growth is a necessary first step for job growth, our focus must remain on getting Americans back to work. That GDP rose strongly in the fourth quarter of last year while employment fell and the workweek increased only slightly emphasizes the need for policy actions designed to help spur private sector job creation. The President is announcing today the specifics of his plan for a small business jobs and wages tax cut. This policy is designed to encourage businesses to respond to rising demand and output by taking the plunge and hiring new workers again."Criticism of the growth--stimulus is ginning up the economy. Stimulus is working.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy