The U.S. economy shrank 2.9 percent in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department, making it the worst showing since the recession five years ago.

Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney joined America’s Newsroom to break down the numbers.

“It looks grim. These numbers were a real shock,” he told Bill Hemmer. “We were not expecting anything that bad.”

In response, the White House maintains that the decline in the economy is accounted for by lower spending on health care.

Varney explained, “The argument being that the success of ObamaCare shrinks the economy. That’s unusual. You could explain it by saying this year we faced higher deductibles, so a lot of people were reluctant to go to the doctor, so health care spending was down.”

He said the Obama administration can’t account for the nearly three percent drop in the size of the economy in a three-month period.

“There’s something deeper going on here,” he surmised. “It has to be a policy failure to some degree.”

What happens if we slip back into a recession?

Varney said, “We can’t print up another couple of trillion dollars. […] What’s the president going to do? Raise taxes to drop that deficit? That won’t fly either. We’re in a hole here.”