Recovery spin wars: White House vs. business

By Jennifer Liberto, senior writer


WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- The Obama administration gave a positive spin to second-quarter economic numbers released Friday, with the administration's chief economist saying they show a "steady recovery from the recession continues."

In a statement on the White House website, Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, called the annualized 2.4% figure a "solid rate of growth."

Romer acknowledged that "faster growth is needed," but she also pointed out positive indicators such as growth in investments, exports and consumption. "Much work clearly remains to be done before the U.S. economy is fully recovered," Romer wrote.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not surprisingly, had a different take. The group, which has been critical of the administration's business policies, said the results indicate that the recession was deeper than first thought and the recovery more limited.

"These data are a clear indication that the policies to date have not produced sufficiently strong growth," Martin Regalia, the chamber's chief economist, said in a statement.

The 2.4% annual rate of growth was the fourth straight quarter of growth, following a recession that reached its low point with a 6.8% annual rate of decline in fourth quarter of 2008. The second-quarter report followed a 3.7% annualized rate of growth in the first quarter, and was weaker than the 2.5% rate expected by economists. (U.S. economic growth slows to 2.4%)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told journalists Friday morning aboard Air Force One - as President Obama headed to Michigan to tout the auto industry recovery - that there have been "headwinds" styming economic growth.

Those obstacles, according to Gibbs, were the debt crisis in Europe as well as Republican votes in Congress that stalled aid to the unemployed and have blocked tax breaks and loans to small businesses.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke suggested that the numbers indicate that the recession was worse than originally thought, while adding that the recovery is ongoing.

"America is undoubtedly moving in the right direction and this administration remains singularly focused on strengthening the economy and ensuring that every American who wants a job can get one," Locke said in a statement.

One top congressional Democrat, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., told MSNBC on Friday that "growth isn't nearly as good as it should be, but I'm not worried about a double-dip" recession.

Are you a state or city worker that has been furloughed over the past year? Is this causing you financial hardship? If so, send an email to realstories@cnnmoney.com and you could be profiled in an upcoming piece at CNNMoney.com. For the CNNMoney.com Comment Policy, click here.

-- CNN White House Producer Jamie Crawford contributed to this report. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,071.22 -41.93 -0.25%
Nasdaq 4,505.85 -6.34 -0.14%
S&P 500 1,977.80 -5.05 -0.25%
Treasuries 2.49 -0.04 -1.74%
Data as of 5:54am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 15.11 -1.22 -7.47%
Bank of America Corp... 17.01 -0.02 -0.12%
Apple Inc 100.11 -0.62 -0.62%
Yahoo! Inc 40.52 -0.14 -0.34%
Facebook Inc 79.00 0.21 0.27%
Data as of Sep 29

Sections

Apple has been granted regulatory approval by the Chinese government to sell the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. More

As demonstrations continue to disrupt normal operations in Hong Kong, both experts and residents are considering the long-term impact that the pro-democracy protest will have on the international finance hub. More

CNNMoney's Jose Pagliery breaks down the shellshock vulnerability and explains which devices could be affected. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

Despite service that 'sucked,' an Iowa couple leaves a $100 tip for the waiter to prove a point about kindness and the life of a waiter in America. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.