5% Growth in Third Quarter GDP

An upward revision to the Commerce Department’s earlier 3.9% annualized estimate of third quarter GDP growth was expected. But the new 5% number exceeded just about everyone’s hopes, and outstrips the second quarter figure of 4.6% annualized growth. It is, in fact, the highest quarterly growth number since 2003.

No, such numbers (even alongside the steadily positive net job growth news) will not immediately, or perhaps even significantly, change the slough of despond into which Americans have largely followed in terms of perceptions of the current economy. But at some point the conservative argument that Americans need to sacrifice income gains–not to mention labor rights, environmental protections and other public goods–so that “job creators” can “get the economy moving again” will begin to collide with the reality that the economy is already moving again–and simply leaving most people behind.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.