Team Obama Blames ‘Harsh Winter Weather’ For GDP Revision; Recommends TPP Trade Bill

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

The Obama administration reacted to news that broke this morning about the economy shrinking 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015. The number was lower even than the bad economic news first reported, as the Commerce Department’s first estimate showed 0.2 percent growth in the first quarter.

But Jason Furman, the Chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, cautioned Americans from over reacting to the news.

“The first-quarter slowdown was the result of harsh winter weather, tepid foreign demand, and consumers saving the windfall from lower oil prices,” he wrote in a statement.

Furman pointed out Obama’s efforts to pass a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill might help improve the economy, by increasing national exports.

“The President is committed to further strengthening these positive trends by opening our exports to new markets with new high-standards free trade agreements that create opportunities for the middle class,” he wrote.

He also pointed to Obama’s commitment to infrastructure spending and his attempt to block sequestration in the upcoming budget as another positive step for the economy and cautioned Americans from not focusing too much on one report.

“As the Administration stresses every quarter, GDP figures can be volatile and are subject to substantial revision,” he concluded. “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one single report, and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.”


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