The advance estimate of real GDP growth for last quarter (2011 q4) is in at 2.8%. This is not so good in a number of ways.
First, "expectations" were for 3%.
Second, over half of the growth came from increased "inventory investment", i.e. the accumulation of unsold goods.
Third, this number is subject to revision and the direction of revision is frequently downward.
Fourth, real GDP growth in 2011 was substantially lower than it was is 2010! 1.7% vs. 3.0%
Fifth, even if we discount points 1-4, 2.8% is a pitiful growth rate for a country coming out of a deep recession with a high unemployment rate and a depressed level of labor force participation.
President Obama should be thanking his deity every day for Mitt and Newt. They are the only reasons he's likely to win re-election with an economy this weak.