Obama says U.S. economy not growing fast enough

* Says administration had expected weak economic data

* Faces public frustration over jobs, slow growth

* Economy top issue ahead of Nov. 2 midterm elections

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON, Aug 29 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama said
on Sunday the U.S. economy was expanding but not at a robust
enough pace and there was no “magic bullet” that will fix its
problems.

Obama said in an NBC interview that the batch of grim
economic data over the past few weeks was something his
administration had anticipated.

Gloomy reports on gross domestic product and housing have
raised fears the fragile economy could slip back into a
recession or face a lengthy period of growth that is too slow
to make much of a dent in the 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

“The economy is still growing, but it’s not growing as fast
as it needs to,” Obama told NBC in the interview in New
Orleans, where he stopped after after a weeklong vacation on
the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Obama faces a dilemma in trying to reassure Americans about
the economy without appearing to be out of touch with
frustrations, which have been growing over the sluggish growth
and scarcity of jobs.

The economy is the top issue in the Nov. 2 congressional
elections, where Obama’s Democrats are bracing for potentially
big losses to opposition Republicans.

Obama gave little indication in the interview of any new
proposals that might be unveiled in the near future. He noted
that that the “short-term politics” of the election season
might make it hard to get such measures passed now.

But he urged the U.S. Congress to pass some of his existing
proposals such as plans aimed at spurring lending to small
businesses and some tax breaks for such firms. He also touted
his initiatives to encourage investment in clean energy.

“We should be passing legislation that helps small
businesses get credit,” he said. “That eliminates capital gains
taxes so that they have more incentive to invest right now.
There are a whole host of measures we could take. No single–
element of which is a magic bullet.

Data released last week showed that gross domestic product
growth, the measure of total goods and services output within
U.S. borders, was revised down to only 1.6 percent in the
second quarter from 2.4 percent. The economy grew at a 3.7
percent pace in the first quarter of 2010.

New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly fell in July
to set their slowest pace on record while prices were the
lowest in more than 6-1/2 years, according to figures also
issued last week.
(Writing by Caren Bohan; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Obama says U.S. economy not growing fast enough