WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter 2009 rose 5.7 percent at an annual rate.

This is the second consecutive advance and the strongest increase since the third quarter of 2003.

"Today's strong GDP showing represents important economic progress that must now be translated into new jobs," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "Further Recovery Act spending, measures like the $5,000 small business tax credit President Obama announced today and growing confidence among U.S. businesses will help put Americans back to work.”