Obama's economic scorecard

Under President Barack Obama, the US economy has pulled out of the deep 2008-2009 recession. But growth remains feeble, as many key indicators of economic health show.

Here is a scorecard of the US economic performance under Obama:

GROWTH: When Obama took office in January 2009, the economy was severely contracting, losing 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009. It began recovering within months, but growth in 2012 has lagged, picking up only slightly to 2.0 percent in the third quarter.

JOBS and UNEMPLOYMENT: In Obama's first three months the economy lost more than 2.3 million jobs, sending the unemployment rate to 10 percent by October 2009.

By October 2012 the rate was back down to 7.9 percent, slightly higher than where it was when he took office. But the economy was adding just 170,000 jobs a month. At that rate it would take another 3.5 years to reach 6 percent. Meanwhile the combined official number of those without a job and those who dropped out of the job market but still want work remains higher than in January 2009.

EARNINGS: Unadjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings have risen to $811.15 from $751.22. But when inflation is figured in, earnings are down by 1.0 percent.

POVERTY: The number of people receiving food stamps under the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has risen from 14.5 million households to 22.5 million households (July 2012).

GOVERNMENT FINANCES: The national debt has risen to $16.2 trillion from $10.6 trillion. The deficit has fallen from $1.41 trillion in fiscal 2009 to $1.1 trillion in fiscal 2012. The government's credit rating, from Standard & Poor's, was cut last year for the first time ever, to AA+ from the top-level AAA.

GASOLINE: One gallon (3.8 liters) of gasoline has nearly doubled to $3.48 from $1.81.

STOCK MARKET: The S&P 500 stock index has rebounded from 826 to 1,414.

HOUSING MARKET: The median price for new homes has recovered from $201,100 to $242,200. But the percent of all home loans either delinquent or in foreclosure is virtually unchanged, 11.9 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008 and 11.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

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