New data shows economy recovery gaining steam - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New data shows economy recovery gaining steam

(NBC) - The economy is growing faster than it has in five years but that growth isn't strong enough to spark a lot of hiring yet.

There is still disagreement here about what to do to get more people back to work.

Consumer spending drove the economic upswing. Americans bought more clothing, more appliances and more cars during the last quarter.

It was the most retail buying since 2006.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally is overjoyed at the late surge in 2010.

"This is great quarter for Ford and it's a fantastic year," Mulally said. "This is the best year we've had since 1999."

Even though Ford's stock fell Friday analysts expected more growth. There was no growth, and little is expected in the next year.

"You still end up with an unemployment rate, depending on how many people give up entirely, above 9 percent by the end of the year," Mesirow Financial chief economist Diane Swonk said.

President Obama said spending now on infrastructure and education will help create lasting jobs. The President also maintains that his healthcare reforms will help reel in the deficit.

But Republicans, and many Democrats, argue the deficit should be fixed first, before any new spending initiatives are undertaken.

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