News / Economy

US Economy Grows Two Percent in Third Quarter

Multimedia

The US economy is growing. That's the good news.  The bad news is that economic growth remains sluggish.  The US Commerce Department says GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the broadest measure of the US economy, grew 2 percent, at an annual rate, between July and September - a slight increase from the previous quarter.

The White House says the government report is more evidence that the economy has weathered the worst downturn since the 1930's.  But the numbers are of little help for Democrats who face steep losses in next week's mid-term elections.

Consumers helped boost growth in the third quarter - spending at the fastest rate since the end of 2006 before the recession hit.  As a result, the US economy grew slightly faster than the previous quarter - but not enough to fuel significant job growth.

Speaking at a steel factory in Maryland, President Barack Obama said his policies are moving the economy in the right direction. "But as we continue to dig out from the worst recession in 80 years our mission is to accelerate that recovery and encourage more rapid growth so business like this one can continue to prosper and get millions of Americans who are still looking for jobs back to work," he said.

Nearly 15 million Americans are unemployed.  And with frustration growing among voters, polls show that Republicans are likely to take control of the House of Representatives, severely reducing the president's ability to move forward with a middle class agenda.  

But economist Dan Greenhaus at trading firm Miller Tabak, says a Republican-led Congress would be good for the economy. "Furthermore, to the extent that a Republican takeover of the House leads to some finality on the tax cut debate, and hopefully an extension of the Bush tax cuts, that in turn will in theory help lead to further economic expansion and a reduction of the unemployment rate," he said.

Of course, not everyone agrees.  Democrats say renewing the Bush tax cuts next year to the wealthiest Americans would add $700 billion to the deficit.  

Professor Joe Foudy at New York University's School of Business says demand drives job growth - not lower taxes. "I mean will businesses really hire someone because they can save money on their taxes for the next 12 months?"

Regardless of how Democrats fare in Tuesday's elections, Mr. Obama urged both parties to work together for the good of the country. "Political season's going to be over soon and when it does all of us are going to have a responsibility, Democrats and Republicans, to work together wherever we can to promote jobs and growth," he said.

The Commerce Department expects the US economy will grow at an annual rate of 2.6 percent this year.  

Economists say it would have to expand by 5 percent to reduce the nation's nearly double digit unemployment rate by one percent.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9084
JPY
USD
122.73
GBP
USD
0.6431
CAD
USD
1.2639
INR
USD
63.444

Rates may not be current.