Economy makes improvements

WASHINGTON (NBC) -The Commerce Department says last summer's economic growth was the strongest in a year, proving the economy is back on the right track.

That encouraging news is coupled with the fact that a big bailout in Europe sent Wall Street soaring. Investors seem thrilled that the European Union is giving Greece a big bailout.

The Dow soared more than 300 points Thursday, and Asian and European markets were up Friday morning.

With the Greek Foreign Minister visiting the state department, President Barack Obama said what happens there has a direct impact on American workers.

"If Europe is not growing, as our largest trading partner, that's going to have an impact on our businesses and our ability to create jobs here in the United States," Obama said.

New unemployment claims fell a bit this week amid news that the economy grew 2.5 percent over the summer, which is almost twice as much as last spring.

"We're moving further and further away from the possibility of the so-called double-dip recession," said CNBC reporter, Hampton Pearson.

Consumers are spending money, but with disposable income down, they're dipping into savings, which is a major concern, while businesses are spending too cautiously.

"We are not and should not be in the businesses of making it more difficult for the public entities or the private sector businesses to operate," said House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA.

The Federal Reserve meets next week to decide if more action is necessary to keep the economy growing.

Analysts attribute last summer's growth to a dip in gas prices. Gas costs less, so consumers spent more.

Copyright 2011 NBC. All rights reserved.