Romney Campaign On GDP Numbers: Economy Is ‘Stuck’


Revised GDP numbers, which show slower second-quarter growth than originally thought, reveal the economy isn’t going anywhere under President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney’s campaign argued Thursday.

“The Obama economy is officially stuck in neutral,” campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.3% from April to June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, slower than the 1.7% rate the government last reported in August.

Both consumers and businesses spent less than originally thought, and the drought in the Midwest limited agricultural production.

The downward revision came as a surprise to economists who were largely expecting the figure to remain unchanged. It also marked slower growth than in the first three months of the year, when GDP accelerated at a 2% annual rate.

“It’s clear our nation’s job creators and manufacturers can’t afford another four years like the last four years,” Saul said. “As president, Mitt Romney will deliver a real recovery, with 12 million new jobs, higher take-home pay, and a stronger middle class.”

The Republican National Committee also pounced on the numbers, releasing a research memo on the revision, titled “From Bad to Worse.”

Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a post on the White House’s website that the downward revision in GDP was due, in part, to the Midwest drought, the effects of which he said the Obama administration “continues to take all available steps to mitigate.”

Some good news, however, came for the president Thursday. The weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since July–far better than economists were anticipating. Jobless claims are thought of as a measure of layoffs, which is why economists read a decrease as a encouraging indicator.

About 359,000 people filed jobless claims in the week ended Sept. 22, down 26,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number of people filing for first-time claims were unchanged in the prior week.

In his post, Krueger wrote the news “shows that we must do more to strengthen our economy and promote job creation.”

“Over a year ago, President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act — a plan that independent economists have said would create up to 2 million jobs,’ he continued. “The President will continue to push policies that will continue this progress we have made, including incentives to strengthen the American manufacturing industry, investments in our nation’s infrastructure, and the extension of the tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.”

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