- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

President Obama’s top economic adviser said Thursday that the president “will do everything he can” to improve the economy in light of a revised government report showing a steeper slowdown in the first quarter.

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House council of economic advisers, said Mr. Obama will try to improve growth and job creation by taking more executive actions “or by working with Congress.”

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the economy contracted at a rate of 1 percent in the first quarter. Government economists had previously estimated the rate of downturn at 0.1 percent.

The contraction of total economic output was the worst since the first quarter of 2011.

Mr. Furman said the revised numbers were due “almost entirely to a downward revision to the highly volatile inventories category.” He said severe winter weather also was to blame for the poor economic performance.

“A range of more up-to-date data from March and April, including jobs, manufacturing, housing and other indicators, provide a more accurate and timely picture of where the economy is today and show that it continues to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression,” he said.



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