WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s advisers said the U.S. economy is on track to strengthen and add more jobs in the next two years because many of the impediments to faster growth have subsided.
The unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest levels in more than five years, deficits have been cut by more than half, housing is on the rebound, manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s and exports are accelerating, Obama said in an annual economic report to Congress.
“After five years of grit and determined effort, the U.S. is better-positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth,” Obama said in the report released today.
The 410-page document is being released as the campaign season begins for the November elections for all 435 seats in the U.S. House and one-third of the 100 seats in the Senate. Obama’s economic record will be one of the issues Republicans use in their campaigns as they seek to increase their control of the House and gain a majority in the Senate.
Obama’s economic advisers drew on economic data that they said shows the gross domestic product expanding by 3.1 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2015, which would be the best performance since 2005. The economy grew 1.9 percent last year.
The jobless rate will average 6.9 percent this year, declining to an average of 6.4 percent in 2015, the White House economic team said.
The annual Economic Report of the President highlights forecasts that were part of the fiscal 2015 budget released on March 4. The administration also released today historical documents and analytic material in support of the budget.
The budget’s economic projections were based on information in mid-November. Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said those forecasts now look too cautious based on more current data.