URGENT ¥¥¥ Obama warns cuts 'dumb' but blames Republicans

President Barack Obama on Friday branded the automatic budget cuts about to slam into the US economy "dumb" and "unnecessary" but blamed Republicans for the failure to avert them.

"These cuts will hurt our economy, will cost us jobs and to set it right both sides need to be able to compromise," Obama said, on the day $85 billion in cuts go into force after lawmakers failed to reach a deficit-cutting deal.