The Obama campaign would like voters to believe the economy is improving just before the election, but recent developments in the private sector show global economic strains are already placing a strain on jobs at home, and will present a significant challenge to the next president.

Markets tanked this week as companies reported tougher markets in Europe and Asia, scaling back growth expectations. The Dow Jones tumbled a whopping 243.36 points, U.S. stocks lost about $500 billion in value, and the world watches the Federal Reserve this week, expecting few changes to previously announced policies to promote growth.

The WSJ reports:

Tuesday was a case in point, with executives of all stripes saying they expect more months of faltering demand before the weak global economy starts to turn around. Some announced new rounds of layoffs and factory closures, underlining the challenges facing global corporations.

"There is a lot of uncertainty," United Technologies Corp. UTX +0.23% Chief Executive Louis Chênevert said. "Europe continues to be a real challenge, and

if you look at America, while the recovery has begun, it is going to be a slow.

Energy companies, who have been under regulatory pressure or given the government grant lifeline, are expected to be hit especially hard.

Slightly after DuPont announced a 1,500 person layoff, Dow Chemical, the nation’s largest chemical maker announced it would cut 5% of its workforce. At a time when we hope companies would be investing in future growth, Dow is having to cut investments and some of the nations largest employers cannot afford to employ American families.

Managing the economy will not be an easy job for the next president and Congress. It’s not all downhill from here, and Washington should release a tight regulatory burden, reform the corporate tax code, and put its fiscal house in order to give the private sector as much certainty as possible.