The U.S. Commerce Department announced that from July to September the economy grew 2 percent. That's hardly robust, but it's still better than the second quarter when the economy grew at 1.7 percent, a rate widely described as "feeble."
For whatever consolation, that was the fifth consecutive quarter of growth, but unfortunately not strong enough to make a dent in the politically sensitive jobless rate, seemingly stuck at 9.6 percent.
The average quarterly growth in previous economic recoveries has been 3.6 percent. What the country really needs is a 5 percent growth rate, but no one is forecasting it.
The third quarter growth was largely due to business investment, federal spending and consumer spending. Consumer spending, on the threshold of the critical holiday shopping season, was up 2.6 percent, the largest quarterly increase since the end of 2006.
The less-than-overwhelming numbers with no inflation in sight means the Fed will keep pumping money into the economy. And in the current political climate that's the last tool left to the government.
The economy has not been kind to the Democrats. But with a projected fourth quarter growth rate of 2.5 percent and at 2.8 percent for all of next year, it's likely to be no kinder to the Republicans.