The federal government reported Friday that real GDP growth rose by 5.0% for the third quarter of 2014, marking the fastest growth in any quarter since 2003. The number was higher than most analysts had predicted as growth was expected to be robust by closer to 4% due to initial estimates last month setting the growth at 3.9%. Increased consumer and business spending were the key factors leading to the higher number.
With a second straight quarter of rapid growth, the conventional logic thrown about from conservatives that President Obama’s policies are destroying the economy and the Affordable Care Act is the “nation’s number one job killer” looks downright silly. In fact, one of the major drivers in the fast growth is the fact that health-care spending has increased, showing that more people who now have insurance are able to utilize health services. This, in turn, also creates job growth in that industry.
This is just the latest in a string of good economic news for this current administration. Currently, the unemployment rate is at 5.9%, and job growth is at its strongest level since the Clinton Administration. Low gas prices are allowing consumers to spend more money elsewhere. While wages aren’t rising as fast as they should, they are finally moving up. Overall, Obama’s economy is humming along and is actually an improvement over the campaign promises from Mitt Romney in 2012.
On Friday, Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog discussed the issue Republicans will now face in attempting to criticize the economy and this administration.