The economy's 5 percent year-end boost will provide President Barack Obama with an opportunity to exploit the positive economic outlook for political gain as he enters the New Year facing battles with a Republican Congress.
According to The Hill
, Democrats are already boasting about the growth figures released Tuesday which exceeded the expectations set out by the administration of 3.9 percent.
"The proof is in the pudding," one former senior Obama administration official told The Hill. "There's really nothing else to say."
The growth figures are the highest in more than a decade, and in the last month alone there was an increase of more than 300,000 jobs, The Washington Post
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high of 18,000
on the back of the announcement, and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index also closed at a record high.
Falling gas prices and a robust trade market were key factors behind the growth, but the White House was also quick to highlight gains in consumer spending and business investments on wages, The Hill reported.
The economic news
will likely give the president new leverage over Republicans who in the midterm elections successfully capitalized on voters' negative views of the economy and the president's handling of it.
Republicans have been noticeably silent about the growth figures, The Hill
Democrats say that in the past their party has not done enough to tout its work to boost the economy.
"One challenge we've had has always been messaging," the former senior administration official said, according to The Hill. "We've had a series of economic wins but they've never been realized or appreciated by average Americans because they don't feel it."
This time around, Democrats need to make the most of the good news, the official said, and White House aides need to do a better job saying "the president and the administration has made this happen. Period."
Both parties, however, acknowledge that the economy continues to face challenges. A possible interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve could slow growth, while the contraction of the Russian economy
and slowdowns in China, Japan, and Europe could also put a drag on America's economic resurgence.
"There is more work to be done to ensure that all Americans can share in the accelerating recovery," Jason Furman, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote Tuesday, according to The Hill.
Nevertheless, analysts predict ongoing growth and a possible boom in the coming year, according to the Post.
Still, Republicans say there is still plenty of room to criticize the president's handling of the economy.
"More than 11 percent of Americans have left the workplace altogether, frustrated by long-term unemployment and giving up on President Obama's most central promise — hope," Doug Heye, a former top aide to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, told The Hill.
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