A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released today finds that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working to “create jobs and drive economic growth.”

At the time of the Recovery Act’s enactment, economists from across the political spectrum agreed that a stimulus would be a necessary component to realizing economic recovery. And now, at the macro level, standard market indications all point to an improving economy. Today’s report is just one more in a series of measurements that support the finding that the Recovery Act has played a pivotal role in bringing the economy back from the brink of collapse.

In early 2009, job losses reached a rate of 700,000 per month, but January 2010 marked the first drop in unemployment since the recession began. Over the past year, the GDP has swung over 10 points from -5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 5.4% in the last quarter of 2009.

Key points from the GAO report:
• Payments will shift from rescue to rebuild, and the best is yet to come.
• Recovery funds helped states fill budget shortfalls and avoid dangerous cuts.
• Recovery funds have been spent wisely.
• Cost savings are leading to additional job-creating projects.
• The GAO recognizes improvements in recipient reporting.
• The GAO recommends improvements to agency implementation of some programs.

Click here to read the full GAO report or click here for a two-page summary.