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For The First Time Since 2003, U.S. Economy Grows At 5%

For The First Time Since 2003, U.S. Economy Grows At 5%
[Photo: Flickr user Giuseppe Milo]

After years of fits and starts, the U.S. economy appears to be finally picking up steam.

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Today the Commerce Department revised its prior estimate for third quarter growth in U.S. gross domestic product from 3.9% to 5.0%–the best result in 11 years. The revised number also gives new credence to the second quarter’s 4.6% rate of economic expansion.

Consumer confidence is also up, thanks to cheap gas and lower unemployment. According to an index maintained by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, confidence is at its highest since 2007.

Wall Street welcomed the news, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average over 18,000 for the first time and the U.S. dollar to an eight-year high.

The momentum is a boon for Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who is nearing her first anniversary on the job this February. She has largely continued in the footsteps of predecessor Ben Bernanke while highlighting the plight of unemployed and underemployed workers and their families.

Meanwhile, other developed countries continue to struggle. Today the U.K. revised its economic forecast and indicated that it would likely not meet its growth target of 3%.

[h/t: New York Times]

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