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 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011:
“The third-quarter economic growth announced this morning is a welcome improvement from the extremely slow growth we had in the first half of the year. Even so, economic growth is not as strong as we would like to see, and it is clear that Washington must focus on passing legislation that will provide businesses with the incentives necessary to add employees and help grow our economy. We need to continue to focus on creating good jobs and strengthening our economy.
“This is why I have introduced the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit Act of 2011, which creates a one-year, quarterly payroll tax credit that provides businesses incentives to add more jobs and to reverse cuts in salaries and worker hours. This will help tip the balance toward boosting payroll for hundreds of thousands of businesses nationwide, while getting more Americans back to work.
“This legislation is a critical step towards reversing the economic downturn felt across Pennsylvania and the country. Congress must make every effort possible to create an environment that will foster stronger economic growth.”
Over the first half of the year, GDP had grown at an average annual rate of only 0.8 percent after inflation. The third-quarter acceleration in GDP was paced by a 2.4 percent increase in consumer spending and a 17.4 percent increase in business spending on software and equipment. However, personal disposable income declined by 1.7 percent in the third quarter after accounting for inflation, following a meager gain of 0.6 percent in the second quarter.
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