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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Frustrating Economic Numbers for POTUS

After some mildly positive news, the numbers have again turned sour for the president. Bloomberg reports:
U.S. employment climbed in October at the slowest pace in four months, illustrating the “frustratingly slow” progress cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke this week.

The 80,000 increase in payrolls was less than forecast and followed gains in the prior two months that were revised up by 102,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The unemployment rate fell to a six-month low of 9 percent from 9.1 percent even as the labor force expanded.

The crisis in Europe and looming deadline on U.S. budget talks may be prompting companies to hold back on concern failure to reach resolutions will put the global recovery at risk. Fed policy makers project the jobless rate won’t drop under 8 percent until 2013 at the earliest, one reason why Bernanke this week said additional stimulus “remains on the table.”

Said Steven Law, president and CEO of Crossroads GPS, and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor:

President Obama's massive stimulus policies have failed to bring down unemployment, and his new ideas haven't learned from past mistakes,” said Steven Law, president and CEO of Crossroads GPS. “President Obama's tax, healthcare and regulatory policies have savagely attacked small businesses and entrepreneurs that create jobs, and instead entrusted job creation to unelected bureaucrats in Washington that hand out stimulus checks – and that's no way to run an economy.

The New York Times offers detail on the Fed's sobering perspective:
The Federal Reserve significantly reduced its forecast of economic growth through 2013, acknowledging that it had once again overestimated the nation’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.
The central bank predicted that the economy would expand 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent in 2012, well below its June projection of 3.3 percent to 3.7 percent. For the following year, 2013, the Fed predicted growth of 3 percent to 3.5 percent, down from a range of 3.5 percent to 4.2 percent.

The unemployment rate, it predicted, would still be at least 8.5 percent at the end of 2012, at least 7.8 percent at the end of 2013 and at least 6.8 percent at the end of 2014. Such reductions probably would come in part from people abandoning the search for work, rather than those finding new jobs.