- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The White House took credit Tuesday for an improving economic outlook in the third quarter, while acknowledging that falling gas prices also are helping.

Jason Furman, President Obama’s top economic adviser, hailed the government’s revised numbers showing that third-quarter gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 5 percent, up 1.1 percentage points from the initial estimate in November.

“The steps that we took early on to rescue our economy and rebuild it on a new foundation helped make 2014 already the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s,” Mr. Furman said in a blog post. “Indeed, 2014 was a breakthrough year for the United States.”

While crediting the president’s policies for the recovery, Mr. Furman also noted consumers are reporting that improved employment and wage expectations — along with declining gasoline prices — “as major drivers of improved economic optimism.”

“Consumer spending, business investment, and net exports all remained positive contributors this quarter,” he said.

Gas prices have fallen for 89 consecutive days, the longest on record, according to AAA. The national average price of regular gas has dropped nearly $1 per gallon, taking it to $2.38 a gallon for the first time in five years.

The exuberance was also noted on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average broke through the 18,000 barrier for the first time ever in Tuesday trading.

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