The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012, down from 2 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department announced Friday.
That figure is well below the 3 percent growth rate the White House recently forecast for 2012, and far too low to make a positive impact on the unemployment rate, which remained steady at 8.2 percent as of last month. Jobs data for July is due out next week.
As the Associated Press pointed out, the U.S. economy "has never been so sluggish this long into a recovery."
The economic recovery under President Obama has averaged growth of 2.2 percent over 12 quarters, compared to 5.7 percent under President Reagan.
The economy has now grown at an abysmal 1.9 percent over the past four quarters. Jim Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute calls this the "Recession Red Zone," meaning there is now a 70 percent likelihood that the economy will enter a recession within the next year.
Such dismal economic news puts the president’s reelection in serious jeopardy.