That's why many economic officials expressed caution in making any firm projections about the Obama economy in the coming year.
"I'm not prepared to interpret the revised third quarter [GDP] number as an indication that the economy is on a much stronger track," Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart told reporters last week.
The reason why he and other economists were voicing such caution in their forecasts is that large retail inventory in the face of weak consumer demand means a sharp fall in economic growth in the fourth quarter. And recent data seem to support that.
"Orders for manufactured goods fell 0.9 percent in October," Reuters reported.
There are also reasons to question the sustainability of last week's Labor Department survey which reported that the economy added 203,000 jobs in November. But there is less here than meets the eye.
Many reports over the course of the year have shown that employers are reducing full-time employment in favor of part-time.
Some of this is due to weaker business sales, but also to higher payroll costs under the new health care law mandates for insurance coverage.
A separate Labor Department survey "indicates 399,000 additional Americans reported working part-time since January, while 153,000 fewer say they had full-time positions," Morici said in another analysis.
"In large measure, the shift to part-timers is driven by ObamaCare mandates and a generally weak economy," he says.
The growth in low income, no-benefits, part-time work was all but missing from last week's much ballyhooed job headlines. And few if any news media reports noted that the decline in last month's jobless rate to 7.0 percent was "mostly because furloughed government workers returned to their jobs," Morici said.
While 203,000 jobs might sound like a big figure -- and it is to the White House which has become accustomed to far less muscular job numbers -- it doesn't measure up to previous recoveries.
It would take 365,000 jobs a month, and an economy growing at 4 to 5 percent a year, to reduce unemployment to 6 percent over the next two to three years.
That's not going to happened under Obama's impotent policies which call for more government spending, higher taxes and more restrictive business regulations.
Four years into President Reagan's economic recovery, after a deep recession that drove unemployment to nearly 11 percent, the economy was growing at nearly 5 percent and monthly job creation numbers were twice as high.
Few Americans fully realize that the government's job creation and unemployment numbers are from telephone surveys.
But other private sector surveys are producing data that show unemployment at higher levels than those reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For example, the respected Gallup Poll's household job survey puts the unemployment rate at 8 percent, a point higher than the government's figure.
Gallup also reports that 17.2 percent of the people they surveyed said they were working part-time or fewer hours and were "underemployed."
The bottom line is simply this. The once-mighty U.S. economy remains sluggish and undernourished because of this administration's anti-growth, anti-job policies.
This will be the No. 1 political issue for Obama and his party when the 2014 midterm election year officially begins in just 21 days.
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