WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's administration said Thursday that stronger growth in the economy in the third quarter still was too slow and signaled a need for further stimulus.

Responding to the Commerce Department's first estimate of gross domestic product growth for the July-September period at a 2.5 percent pace, nearly double that of the prior quarter, the White House said that growth remained too sluggish and would not dent painfully high employment.

"What we know... is that 2.5 percent is better than what we had in the previous quarter, and the quarter before that, but it's not good enough by a long shot," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"That's why we need to take action to further boost growth and job creation," he added, referring to a jobs plan Obama presented to Congress in mid-September.

The plan, a mix of stimulus measures and tax cuts, is aimed at bringing down unemployment, which has been stuck at a 9.1 percent rate for the past three months.

However, the jobs plan has been met with stiff resistance from Republicans, who oppose new spending in the face of rising deficits and debt, and who control the House of Representatives and have a blocking minority in the Senate.