Via Meadia is happy to report that a ray of light may be breaking through the gloom pervading the U.S. economy. The Commerce Department today announced that the economy grew by 3 percent in the most recent quarter, the highest rate in 18 months—and energy looks to be the key.In an interview with Bloomberg News, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris attributes much of the improvement to the dramatic decline in the price of natural gas, which is now at its lowest level in a decade. For many companies, lower gas prices are doubly beneficial, as gas powers manufacturing plants and also provides raw material for hundreds of products.As gas prices fall, U.S. demand for autos and industrial goods is rising, and global demand for electronics is also recovering. To take advantage of such favorable conditions, Liveris said Dow plans to invest $4 billion in the United States over the next five years.It is far too early to blithely predict smooth sailing ahead, but Via Meadia is encouraged by this news. The financial crisis may have begun here, but America still has many things going for it, and may be uniquely positioned to weather the crisis better than its European and Asian peers.
U.S. Economy Shakes Off Gloom