BUSINESS

Sharper Economic Downturn Complicates Obama Spending Plans

03/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration's spending plans, which anticipate vigorous rates of growth in years to come.

A sense of disconnect between the projections by the White House and the grim realities of everyday American life was enhanced on Friday, as the Commerce Department gave a harsher assessment for the last three months of 2008. In place of an initial estimate that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 3.8 percent -- already abysmal -- the government said that the pace of decline was actually 6.2 percent, making it the worst quarter since 1982.

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