From the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.
The White House puts this in context:
The data show that the total output of the U.S. economy increased strongly in the fourth quarter of 2009. Real GDP (that is, GDP adjusted for inflation) increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent. The change from the first quarter of 2009, when GDP fell at an annual rate of 6.4 percent, is truly extraordinary; indeed, the three-quarter swing in growth rates was the largest since 1981.
This is, undeniably, good news for the country and the American people.
But this is particularly good news for President Obama and Congressional Democrats, since it shows that their economic policies are working. We’ll still have to wait and see how employment fares–since employment is a lagging indicator–but this much GDP growth is a good sign.
On the other hand, this is particularly bad news for Republicans, since they’re relying on continued economic stagnation to help them in the upcoming midterm elections. If Obama and the Democrats turn out to have been right and the economy continues to improve, then I don’t see what the Republicans are going to run on.
Dissatisfaction will only take you so far–if people stop being dissatisfied then Republicans are going to have to come up with actual policies to run on.
[All emphasis mine]