Bad news for people who prefer the economy to be, you know, good. As Reuters reports:
President Barack Obama sharply cut estimates on Thursday for U.S. economic growth, underscoring the difficult challenge he faces in spurring a stronger recovery and creating more jobs. In a midyear review of his annual budget, Obama predicted average unemployment of 9 percent in 2012, when he will have to fight for re-election.
While we do enjoy the image of President Obama sitting down at his desk, crunching numbers late into the night as he wears one of those accountant visors and chain smokes, Obama isn't personally making any economic predictions. The new numbers were compiled by the White House's Office of Management and Budget, which pointed to "persistent weakness of the housing market, fiscal consolidation at the state and local government level, turmoil in the Middle East, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe" as reasons for the gloomier outlook.
The good news, though, is that all the federal government's efforts at reducing the deficit have ... reduced the deficit.
The Obama administration forecast the federal deficit at $1.3 trillion this year, down from the $1.65 trillion projected in February, as tax collections increased and federal spending slowed.
In other words, the nation's debt will continue to grow but at a slightly slower rate! Huzzah.