WASHINGTON (CNN) – A full economic recovery may be slow to materialize, but the administration's stimulus plan is working and the economy has stabilized over the past few months, a key White House adviser asserted Friday.
Unemployment is likely to rise in the months ahead, National Economic Council Director Larry Summers warned, as the full impact of the $787 billion economic recovery plan is not likely to be felt until 2010.
Nonetheless, he said, "We were at the brink of catastrophe at the beginning of the year, but we have walked some substantial distance back from the abyss."
Business and consumer confidence have increased, he noted, and there are indications that the country's gross domestic product "is on a close to level path with prospects for positive growth to commence during this year."
The national unemployment rate is currently 9.5 percent, with the recession now in its 18th month.
Summers made his remarks during an appearance at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a non-partisan think tank focused on global economic policy.