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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Troubling Economic Numbers for Obama

Josh Boak writes at Politico:
Americans’ take-home pay — one of the critical economic benchmarks for presidents seeking reelection — declined in January and February.

Research shows that the amount of money Americans earn after taxes and inflation is one of the most reliable predictors of a president’s November chances — more so than the unemployment rate. In the past year, most Americans have barely seen a bump in earnings, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But the figures for the past two months create the potential for an even more dire situation for the White House: Wages increased at a slower rate than energy prices, so the measure known as disposable personal income dropped. With take-home pay effectively falling 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent in January and February, respectively. If take-home pay continues to fall, as it has for the first two months of the year, President Barack Obama would be lucky to get 45 percent of the vote, according to a model developed by former Harvard University professor Douglas Hibbs.
From the Bureau of Economic Analysis