Gross domestic product grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate, beating the consensus forecast for a 3.3 percent pace. But two of the biggest contributors -- spending on durable goods and residential investment -- received substantial boosts from Washington's emergency rescue efforts.
"Sure, the economy's standing up on its own legs again, but for how long once the government stimulus starts to fade?" said Chris Rupkey, an economist with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York. "That's the million dollar question for the nation's unemployed -- all 15.1 million of them sitting idle, through no fault of their own.
What gives Rupkey and some other economists pause is that a large