Despite a larger-than-expected increase in tax revenue, the federal budget deficit has grown by about $70 billion and will hit a record $445 billion this year, the White House projected Friday.How strong is that economy? Here's how strong, America!
The Bush administration put the new numbers in a positive light, saying its tax cuts had strengthened the economy and resulted in a deficit significantly lower than the $521 billion it projected in February.
U.S. Economy's Growth Slows in Second QuarterBush (and Rove's fax missives to the media) love to trumpet that 1.5 million job growth since August. That's all we keep hearing. August, August, August. But the two quarters since August, August, August have been nothing more than disappointing.
Output climbs at a 3% annual rate, down from 4.5%, raising concerns. July's job data may hint at whether the drop is a blip or marks a trend.
The nation's economy slowed sharply in the second quarter, the government reported Friday, renewing concerns about whether modest expansion might persist and dampen job creation.
The less-than-expected 3% annualized growth rate in gross domestic product - the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. - was the slowest in more than a year, the Commerce Department said. The relatively modest April-June performance was affected primarily by consumers closing their pocketbooks.
The increase in second-quarter GDP was down from an upwardly revised 4.5% rate in the first quarter, 4.1% in the year-earlier second quarter and the sizzling 7.4% pace of last year's third quarter.
The consensus among economists had been that growth would hit 3.7% in the latest period.
"The economy has clearly downshifted," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com., a West Chester, Pa., research firm.
Modest growth, if continued, could have significant ramifications for the presidential election.
Surveys show that many voters don't believe they have fully benefited from the economic recovery, given weak wage increases and persistent job insecurities. Democrats have attacked President Bush for a net decline of 1.1 million jobs during his term.
So from now on, when you hear the August, August, August routine, ask them about January, January, January and April, April, April. 'nKay? 'nKay.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Each of those "Augusts" you see here links to separate instances where the claim has been repeated by Bush or Cheney since only Tuesday.