Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the announcement from the Bureau of Economic Analysis that Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.8 percent annual rate in the fourth-quarter of 2011:
“Today’s GDP number shows that the economic recovery continues. This growth is the largest we have seen since the second quarter of 2010 and is a much needed improvement after the slow growth in the first half of 2011. We have seen significant increases in the last two quarters, but economic growth is not as strong as we would like to see.
“It is clear that Washington must continue to pass policies that encourage growth. This is why it is crucial that we extend the payroll tax cut for the rest of 2012. This will help increase spending, boost demand, and strengthen the economy. Extending the payroll tax cut will help millions of Americans regain economic security while boosting our recovery.
“This legislation is a critical step towards reversing the economic downturn felt across Pennsylvania and the country. It will help the average American family keep an additional $840 in 2012. As a member of the Payroll Tax Conference Committee, I understand the urgency of reaching an agreement and am committed to making sure Congress cuts payroll taxes for the remainder of 2012."
Overall economic activity accelerated in the fourth quarter. Inventory accumulation accounted for most of that acceleration; final sales of domestic product grew by only 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, a sharp deceleration from the third quarter.
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