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White House Responds to Worse than Expected GDP Figure

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House says the continued expansion of the economy is “encouraging” but that the slower-than-expected growth in the first quarter shows “additional growth is needed” to replace the jobs lost in the recession.

Reacting to the news that GDP grew at a rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger noted in a White House blog Friday that “overall GDP growth was weighed down by reduced spending in the government sector.”

“According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, national defense expenditures fell by 8.1 percent in the first quarter.  Government spending across all levels subtracted 0.6 percentage point from overall GDP growth.  The latest report continues a pattern of moderate growth in the private sector components of GDP and contraction of the government components of GDP,” he wrote.

Asked if the White House is concerned about the slowing of the economic recovery, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, “We don’t put too much weight on any individual report.”

“While we’re moving in the right direction, this report illustrates something that the president has long understood, which is that there’s quite a bit more work to do, both in terms of the putting in place policies that will help the private sector create jobs, but also ensure that we have policies in place that will benefit middle-class families and those families trying to get into the middle class,” Earnest said.

“What we examine are the longer-term trends.  And today’s report indicates that for the eleventh consecutive quarter we’ve enjoyed economic growth in this country.  So for those of you scoring along at home, that’s almost three years of consecutive, economic growth in this country,” he added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio