Is the recession over?
The government today unleashed new numbers showing that in the third quarter, the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter, snapping four straight quarters of economic contraction.
Wall Street was happy, and stocks rallied after a four-day losing streak.
But the White House was careful to avoid declaring victory.
"After four consecutive quarters of decline, positive GDP growth is an encouraging sign that the U.S. economy is moving in the right direction," said Christina Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers. "However, this welcome milestone is just another step, and we still have a long road to travel until the economy is fully recovered."
Crediting President Obama's $787-billion stimulus package, Romer said conceded that until the 15 million out-of-work Americans get jobs, the champagne stays in the locker room.
"It will take sustained, robust GDP growth to bring the unemployment rate down substantially. Such a decline in unemployment is, of course, what we are all working to achieve."
-- Johanna Neuman
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