Summers: Economy has bottomed out

Aug. 2, 2009 at 12:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy has bottomed out and will resume its growth in the second half, a key White House economic adviser said Sunday.

Lawrence Summers, chief economic adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the economy has turned a corner.

"People aren't talking about whether the recession is going to turn into a depression, they are talking about when it is going to end," Summers said. "Most forecasters are now looking at growth and output in the (gross domestic product) over the second half of this year."

Summers called the projections "a real accomplishment" for an administration that inherited "a trillion-dollar-plus deficit, and an economy that was in free-fall and people talking about depression."

The challenge, he said, has moved from rescuing the economy to establishing a foundation for growth, which will include "difficult and challenging steps" to bring the deficit under control, starting with healthcare reforms.

Summers would not rule out tax increases but insisted middle-class families would not their target. "What the president has been completely clear on is that he is not going to pursue any of his priorities ... in ways that are primarily burdening middle-class families," he said.

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