President Barack Obama’s economy wheezed to halt in the first quarter of 2014, with a growth rate of just 0.1 percent.
That barely-alive growth was one-tenth of the forecasted growth of around 1.2 percent, and was far below the growth of 2.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013.
The comatose economy is expected to worsen Democratic prospects in the fall elections, and to push the president’s poll rating further downwards.
White House officials blamed bad weather for the report. “A number of notable influences, including historically severe winter weather… temporarily lowered growth in the first quarter,” according to Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors. “The President will do everything he can either by acting through executive action or by working with Congress to push for steps that would raise growth and accelerate job creation, including… an increase in the minimum wage” he added.
This afternoon, Obama has scheduled a media event to tout his call for a rise in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. However, GOP leaders and the Congressional Budget Office say an increase will eliminate jobs.
Overall economic growth in 2013 was 1.9 percent, after a spike of 2.8 percent in 2012.
Stock-market experts remained optimistic for the second quarter of 2014, and blamed the first-quarter stall on the weather.
The slowdown was caused by sharp drops in investment in equipment and housing, and in the exports of goods.
First-quarter personal consumption rose by 3.0 percent, and services grew by 4.4 percent.
The economic report adds to a growing library of bad economic news.
In the Obama economy, almost 2 million well-paid middle-class jobs have been converted into low-wage blue-collar jobs since January 2008, according a new report, titled “The Low-Wage Recovery: Industry Employment and Wages Four Years into the Recovery.” Other studies and polls showing a steep drop in the number of people who believe they are middle class.
Despite the slow economy, Obama, progressive Democrats and business-funded Republicans are pushing to increase the inflow of low-skill foreign workers into the country.
The increased supply of workers will reduce the share of the nation’s wealth that is paid to workers, and increase the share that will go to investors, according to a June 2013 report by the Congressional Budget Office. In the Obama economy, the share of annual national income paid to workers is at a 63-year low, and the percentage that is paid to investors is at a 85-year high.
Each year, the federal government awards Green Cards to roughly 1 million immigrants, and temporary work-permits to 650,000 non-agricultural workers.