Nightly News   |  July 27, 2012

Economy slows as consumers cut spending

The latest numbers indicate the gross domestic product slowed dramatically in the past nine months. President Obama declined to comment, but White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Congress hasn’t passed the President’s jobs bill. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> there is news on the american economy tonight. new numbers from the government confirming what millions have been living. the economy went nowhere fast in the second quarter of this year. inside the numbers we go this evening with nbc's tom costello.

>> reporter: today's numbers are fresh evidence that the economy has slowed dramatically since the end of last year. from april until june growing at just 1.5%. while housing shows signs of improvement, consumers cut back on spending especially on cars.

>> consumers are key to the economy's growth. they account for two-thirds, 70% of gdp. if consumers aren't spending the economy isn't going to grow quickly.

>> reporter: with the economy the number one issue with voters it was bad news for president obama and republicans pounced.

>> we cannot change the direction of this country soon enough.

>> thank you, guys. see you. have a great weekend.

>> reporter: the president declined to comment, leaving it to his spokesman to remind reporters congress hasn't passed his jobs bill.

>> we know what we can do right now to spur growth and job creation and congress needs to act.

>> reporter: officially unemployment sits at 8.2% but economists say the real number is in the mid teens and growing.

>> what is it that distinguishes you from anybody else?

>> reporter: in lyle township , illinois today the former financial administrator eileen richards was at the weekly job club meeting . on the agenda networking.

>> i really am on a time crunch to get something under my belt within the next few months or i am going to hit some really, really tough financial straits.

>> reporter: also there, 67-year-old charles cremins, a former college administrator who has been out of work for six months.

>> i wish i was a year or two younger. i wish had more hair on my head. but, hey. i am what i am.

>> reporter: coping with reality amid a very slow recovery. tom costello, nbc news, washington.