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Economic growth disappoints, Americans’ income down, and more Americans believe country going in wrong direction

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

United States stock markets are down this morning on news that the U.S. economy grew just 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Analysts had been expecting growth as high as 3.5 percent.

According to the Commerce Department, Americans’ personal income fell 3.2 percent last quarter, as President Obama’s fiscal cliff tax hikes began taking more money from the American people.

Separately, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll released Thursday found that just 29 percent of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction. As recently as November, that number was as high as 41 percent. A total of 60 percent of Americans now believe the country is heading in the wring direction.

The National Journal poll also showed most Americans now have a dim view of Obama’s economic agenda. Just 29 percent of Americans say Obama’s actions will increase opportunity for them. Meanwhile, 43 percent believe Obama’s actions will decrease economic opportunity and another 21 percent say they will have no impact.

Asked whether Obama’s economic policies either “helped to avoid an even worse economic crisis, and are fueling economic recovery,” or “run up a record federal deficit while failing to significantly improve the economy,” just 40 percent say Obama’s economic policies have helped while 47 percent say they have failed.

Alan Krueger, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, sees it differently. According to Obama’s top economist, everything is going fine. “Today’s report indicates that the economy posted its fifteenth straight quarter of positive growth … Over the last fifteen quarters, the economy has expanded by 8.3 percent overall, and the private components of GDP have grown by 12.2 percent … This report, together with other economic indicators, provides further evidence that the economy is moving forward in the right direction.”

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