Today, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew at 5.7 percent from October through December, a “better-than-expected gain.” The expansion was the fastest in six years. White House economic adviser Christina Romer said the report is “the most positive news to date” on the economy. Speaking on Bloomberg television today, Mark Zandi — who was an adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign — heralded the positive numbers as a result of the stimulus passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Obama last February:
I think stimulus was key to the 4th quarter. It was really critical to business fixed investment because there was a tax bonus depreciation in the stimulus that expired in December and juiced up fixed investment. And also, it was very critical to housing and residential investment because of the housing tax credit. And the decline in government spending would have been measurably greater without the money from the stimulus. So the stimulus was very, very important in the 4th quarter.
Jerome A. Paris notes that the stimulus helped spur growth in the U.S. wind industry. White House energy adviser Heather Zichal reports that the American Wind Energy Association credited the stimulus for the growth.