President Barack Obama's budget office on Friday revised downward its previous forecasts for economic growth in 2012 and 2013 and projected a $1.211 trillion deficit through the end of the year, slightly down from earlier predictions.
"The economy is not growing fast enough and there are still too many people out of work. Most troubling, the pace of improvement in the labor market slowed in the second quarter of this year," according to the Mid-Session Review (MSR) from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Obama's hopes for re-election hang on voters' perceptions of how he has handled the economy, which is still sputtering three and a half years after he took office. Polls show Republican challenger Mitt Romney is seen as a better candidate for creating jobs, though the president outscores him on which candidate would be a better champion for the middle class.