Economy Slows – GDP Growth Shrinks, Unemployment Rises

Who will President Obama blame for today’s gloomy economic news? The millionaires he’s so obsessed with? One thing he won’t do is take a good hard look at the man in the mirror and change his progressive ways. Sadly and predictably, the economy is slowing yet again.

The Wall Street Journal reported that GDP growth has shrunk, while unemployment has gone up.

The U.S. economy hit the brakes in the first three months of 2011 as higher prices, especially for gasoline and food, squeezed spending by Americans.

Separately, the number of idled U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly jumped last week, the latest sign that the labor market remains weak.

Gross domestic product, the value of all the goods and services produced, rose at an seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday in its first estimate of the economy’s benchmark indicator.

The modest increase marked a significant slowdown from the economy’s pace in the fourth quarter, when GDP rose by 3.1%. The results were in line with economists’ forecasts.

The data marked a setback for an economy still healing from a deep recession. High international oil prices have pushed gas costs beyond $4 a gallon in parts of the country. But the Federal Reserve and private-sector economists see the almost two-year-old recovery gaining momentum later in 2011. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Wednesday said the first-quarter slowdown would likely be temporary.

Why do I find no comfort in the words of Ben Bernanke?

Oh, and the value of the dollar continues to fall. Maybe that’s why.