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Economy, and Obama, 'Weaker Than First Thought' in 2012: Q1 GDP down to 1.9%

Economy, and Obama, 'Weaker Than First Thought' in 2012: Q1 GDP down to 1.9%

When modest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.2% for the first quarter of 2012 was announced in late April, the mainstream media did its best to spin the result in a positive direction, the better to help President Barack Obama kick off his campaign and his message that his policies are working. Now, the Associated Press reports, GDP growth for the first quarter has been revised downward to 1.9%–“weaker than first thought.”

Weaker than first thought–by whom? When the first number was announced, NPR (to take one example) did its best to highlight reports that 2.2% growth meant “signs of strengthening in the underlying dynamics of the economy.” NPR’s coverage of the revised number is matter-of-fact (so far), but Reuters is still spinning:

While the small inventory buildup held back growth in the January-March quarter, restocking of shelves, retreating gasoline prices and an improving housing market should provide a boost to output in the second quarter.

Growth in the second quarter is currently estimated at a pace of about 2.5 percent.

If only!

Meanwhile, the first employment reports for May will be released tomorrow morning–and will be closely watched by investors and spin doctors alike.

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