The critics who want President Obama to fail are never going to admit that the stimulus package did any good. But for those who reside in a reality-based universe, here’s a bit of bright sky in a gloomy economic climate: the U.S. economy, based on gross domestic product (GDP), grew at a rate of 3.5 percent from July to September, the highest rate of growth in two years.
It was enough to lead some analysts to declare that the Great Recession has ended.
“Better than expected GDP is confirming that the Great Recession has ended,” said Kevin Flanagan, fixed-income strategist for Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley in Purchase, New York.
“The question going forward is, is this more of a statistical recovery or are we going to get some meaningful momentum on a sustained basis.”
Most of those analysts also say that the growth in GDP is largely attributable to actions taken by the federal government, including passing the stimulus package and the Fed’s dropping the interest rate to a super-low level.
Of course, most Americans don’t yet believe the recession has ended — and for good reason. Unemployment is stuck at 9.8 percent and could go higher. Some economists believe the actual rate of unemployment is already higher — around 18 percent if you count those too discouraged to look for work.
All that points to the need for more government spending to prevent another economic dip.