Responding to positive economic news, President Barack Obama tells a Kansas City crowd that economic decisons made now will determine whether gains are working for all Americans. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. economic growth accelerated more than expected in the second quarter and the decline in output in the prior period was less steep than previously reported, bolstering views for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year. The growth lifted President Barack Obama's spirits for a speech in Kansas City on Wednesday (July 30). "This morning we found out that in the second quarter of this year our economy grew at a strong pace and businesses are investing. Workers are building new homes. Consumers are spending. America is exporting goods around the world," Obama told the crowd. Gross domestic product expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate as activity picked up broadly after shrinking at a revised 2.1 percent pace in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That pushed GDP above the economy's potential growth trend, which analysts put somewhere between a 2 percent and 2.5 percent pace. Economists had forecast the economy growing at a 3.0 percent rate in the second quarter after a previously reported 2.9 percent contraction. Obama credited policies taken in 2008 to rescue the economy and the auto industry as a precursor to Wednesday's positive news. The president said that it was also thanks to the resilience and resolve of the American people. "The decisions we make now can make things even better than that. In fact, the decisions we make now will determine whether the economic gains that we're generating are broad-based, whether they just go to a few at the top, or we have an economy in which the middle class is growing and folks trying to get into the middle class have more rungs in the ladder," Obama said. Obama said what's needed now is for Washington to come together and work towards sustaining that economic growth for all Americans. "And that's what sometimes Washington forgets, your lives and what you're going through, the struggles and the opportunities and the hopes and the good things. That's more important than some of the phony scandals and fleeting stories that you see. This is the challenge of our time. How do we make sure we have an economy that is working for everybody," Obama said.