US economy grew faster than expected in fourth quarter of 2023 - TAI News
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The Commerce Department reported on Jan. 25 that the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023, which was significantly higher than the 2% growth predicted by Wall Street firms. The department also reported that the economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2023.

President Joe Biden released a statement following the release of the new data:

Today we learned that the U.S. economy grew 3.1 percent over the past year while adding another 2.7 million jobs, and with core inflation moving back down towards the pre-pandemic benchmark. As a result, wages, wealth, and employment are higher now than they were before the pandemic. That’s good news for American families and American workers. That is three years in a row of growing the economy from the middle out and the bottom up on my watch.

The positive national news follows a Jan. 23 report from Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announcing that the state had set new records for employment and the size of its labor force in December 2023.

In that month, Montana’s labor force grew by more than 1,200 workers and reached an all-time high of 563,000 workers. There have been 41,000 jobs created since January 2021, when Biden took office, and the state unemployment rate is 3.2%.

The state and national figures come after the passage in the past few years of several federal laws designed to spur economic growth. Montana’s U.S. senators split their votes on most of those bills, with Democrat Jon Tester backing the legislation and Republican Sen. Steve Daines opposing all but one of them.

The White House called the American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act  its Investing in America agenda.

Tester supported all the bills, while Daines opposed all but the CHIPS and Science Act. Tester’s votes for the Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act were vital to their legislative success in the narrowly divided Senate. In the case of the Inflation Reduction Act, a 50-50 vote tie had to be broken with a vote for passage by Vice President Kamala Harris.

The Rescue Plan was designed to stimulate the economy in response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Montana received direct investments that included support for small businesses and schools, assistance to meat processing facilities, high-speed rural internet access, and funding for repair and replacement of water infrastructure.

The Inflation Reduction Act sent money to Montana that is being used to rehabilitate and improve the infrastructure of public lands in the state. The law also gave Medicare the power to cap and negotiate prescription drug costs.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is continuing to lower costs for Montana families across the board, and these investments in our public lands will ensure that some of our state’s greatest assets remain strong for generations to come. I’m proud to have supported this legislation that strengthens Montana’s outdoor economy, and I’ll always stand up for Montana’s families and small businesses,” Tester said in a May 2023 statement.

The economic growth under Biden has occurred despite claims from former President Donald Trump during his unsuccessful reelection campaign in 2020 that a Biden win in the presidential election would hurt the economy.

“The policies of the left would unleash an economic disaster of epic proportions,” Trump said in remarks at the White House in October 2020. He claimed that a Biden win would “destroy our country,” leading it into a depression.

When Trump was in office, the economy failed to reach growth rates of 4% or 5% that Trump said his policies could create when he first campaigned in 2016.

Trump has returned to his negative rhetoric on the economy this year while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination.

“When there’s a crash, I hope it’s going to be during this next 12 months because I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover,” Trump said in a Jan. 8 interview.Biden responded to Trump’s statement during remarks at a Jan. 18 event in Raleigh, North Carolina: “As I told him, he’s already Hoover. He’s the only president to be president for four years and lose jobs, not gain any jobs. Come on, man.”

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The Montana Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.