Voters should attribute some blame to the debt crisis in Europe for the lower-than-expected growth numbers this quarter, a top Democrat on financial issues said Friday.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that the European crisis in recent months was in part a reason for the figures released this morning showing that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.4 percent between April and June.
"The concerns about the European economy clearly slowed us down," Frank said during an appearance on MSNBC.
"[T]he concern over Europe slowed us down, and I'm hoping now that we will be resuming growth," Frank said.
The figures reflected a slowdown in the rate of recovery after the economy grew 3.7 percent in the first quarter, and 5.7 percent at the end of 2009.
The numbers also aren't of political help to the Obama White House, which has been dogged by high jobless numbers in an election year. President Obama will travel to Detroit today to defend his stewardship of the economy, in particular his administration's decision to extend assistance to the American auto industry.
Several members of the European Union had to receive outside assistance after high debt levels put them on the brink of collapse. Fears of default roiled the Euro and global financial markets, causing fear that a second financial crisis could spread globally.
In the United States in particular, the prospect of another financial crisis spurred fears of a so-called "double-dip" recession, where the economy would again begin to shrink.