Administration projects $1.2T 2012 budget deficit
WASHINGTON – The White House predicts this year's federal budget deficit will end up at $1.2 trillion, marking the fourth consecutive year of trillion dollar-plus deficits during President Barack Obama's administration.
The bleak figures, while expected, are sure to add fuel to the already heated presidential campaign, in which Obama's handling of the economy and the budget is a main topic. Friday's release came as the government announced that U.S. economic growth slowed to an annual rate of just 1.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, as consumers cut back sharply on spending.
The White House budget office also predicts for this year that the economy will grow at a modest 2.6 percent annual rate and that the jobless rate will average 8 percent. It forecasts modest growth of 2.6 percent next year – down from the 3.0 percent it predicted in February – before rising to 4.0 percent in 2014. Unemployment would remain above 7 percent through the end of 2014, registering at 7.3 percent, the report predicts.
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