Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's senior economic adviser said Sunday that the government was delaying a report to Congress on exchange-rate policies of U.S. trading partners to provide more time to address China's alleged manipulation of its currency.
Lawrence Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, told the CNN program "State of the Union" that major international meetings coming up, including a G-20 economic gathering that will include China, provided the opportunity to resolve trade differences that could be exacerbated by releasing the exchange-rate report as scheduled on April 15.
Summers called the upcoming meetings opportunities to engage China and other countries that have large trade surpluses with the United States.
Washington (CNN) – One of President Obama’s top economic advisers suggested Sunday that the economy still has a ways to go to turn around a bleak unemployment situation. At the same time, Lawrence Summers suggested that the White House’s efforts were being stymied by Republican opposition on Capitol Hill.
Watch: Summers on jobs
The economy gained 162,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department announced Friday. But even with that growth – which constituted the best monthly jobs report in three years – the national unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent.
Related on CNNMoney.com: March jobs report shows growth
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House National Economic Council, said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We’ve inherited a terrible situation, the most pressing economic problems since the Great Depression in our country. It is the president’s preoccupation to put people back to work.”
While acknowledging that the economic outlook is not where the White House would like it to be, Summers pointed out that the economy is doing better now than it was this time last year in terms of job growth, exports, and availability of credit.
“The trend has turned,” Summers told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, “but to get back to the surface, we’ve got a long way to go and that’s what we’re fighting to do every day.”
Washington (CNN) - The slow but steady U.S. economic recovery appears set to continue, with underlying indicators signaling a growing strength, some of the nation's senior economists said Sunday.
"The trend has turned," said Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "But to get back to the surface, we've got a long way to go."
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told ABC's "This Week" that the recovery so far has led to conditions for compounding growth. In particular, Greenspan cited an increasing demand for inventory that spurs production as a signal of a possible significant build-up in growth.
"I suspect it's month by month," Greenspan said of continued economic growth, adding that "a statistical aberration is possible."
He said he doubted another drop in growth to create what economists call "double-dip recession" after the downturn of 2008-2009, saying the odds were "very much against that now."
On NBC's "Meet the Press," the chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, Cristina Romer, said the recovery would have to be systemic rather than consumer-driven because, in the wake of the recession, "we're not going to be see people maxing out their credit cards again."
Romer predicted economic growth for the year of 3 percent, which she said would be enough to keep creating jobs but not enough to significantly reduce the unemployment rate.
All three spoke two days after the government announced 162,000 news jobs created in March but the unemployment rate remaining at 9.7 percent.
Washington (CNN) - Unemployment will go down in the coming year, but that doesn't mean U.S. economic woes are over, leading economic figures said Sunday.
Appearing on the NBC program "Meet the Press," former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Christina Romer, chairman of the White House Council on Economic Advisers, both made qualified predictions for economic growth and decreasing unemployment.
"I feel (it's) very likely it will be coming down," Romer said of the unemployment rate, but warned some "bumps" are likely in the coming year.
Greenspan noted upcoming boosts to employment, such as more than 700,000 people working in 2010 to conduct the federal census.
Unemployment "is going to be lower," Greenspan said, mostly due to people returning to the labor force.
Washington (CNN) – A top economic adviser to the White House said Sunday that the economy is beginning to show signs of a turnaround but cautioned that it could be some time before the unemployment situation begins to improve.
“It will take time,” for the national unemployment rate to drop, Lawrence Summers, the Director of the National Economic Council, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
“A year ago, the question was: would we have a depression? Today, everyone agrees that the recession is over and the questions are around how fast we’ll recover.”
Summers explained that economic recoveries typically begin with growth in gross domestic product. “We’ve seen that start to happen,” Summers told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, adding that the economy then begins to create jobs on a net basis. “Most professional forecasters expect job growth by spring and I think that’s a reasonable judgment in an uncertain world,” Summers told King.
The former treasury secretary added that even once the economy begins to create jobs, it takes time to reduce the national unemployment rate “because when you start to create jobs, more and more people start looking for work because they’re encouraged.”
“But on the key measure” of job creation, Summers said, “we’re a lot closer than we were a year ago and the signs that are the first signs that things are turning . . . we’re now seeing progress.”
But, Summers quickly added that more needed to be done to improve the jobs outlook as the national unemployment rate sat at 10 percent.
Washington (CNN) – A top economic adviser to President Obama said Sunday that Wall Street should not be resisting Democratic efforts to impose new financial regulations in the wake of last year’s financial crisis.
“It was irresponsible risk-taking that brought the economy to the brink of collapse,” Lawrence Summers, the Director of Obama’s National Economic Council, said about Wall Street Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “It was their irresponsiblilty in many cases that brought the economy to collapse. And, frankly ... it wasn’t the first time.
Watch: Summers slams Wall Street
“And they don’t get, in some cases, that they wouldn’t be where they are today - and they certainly wouldn’t be paying the bonuses they’re paying today - if their government hadn’t taken extraordinary actions. Extraordinary actions, not frankly with the motivation of helping them, but with the motivation of helping the economy but of which they were nonetheless the beneficiary.”
Summers also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that it was “wrong” for Wall Street to be “complaining about serious regulation directed at making sure this never happens again.”
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) – A top White House adviser said Friday that business opponents of President Obama's plan to create an agency to protect financial consumers are trying to "scare people."
Larry Summers, director of Obama's National Economic Council, criticized an ad campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for suggesting that a new consumer agency will hurt small businesses that extend credit to their customers.
Summers compared the advertisements to the "death panel ads" invoked by opponents of health care reform.
"I'd suggest those ads are the financial regulatory equivalent to the death panel ads being run with respect to health care," Summers said in a speech at Georgetown University. "Those without a good argument try to scare people ... that's what is happening here."
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."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – One of President Barack Obama's top economic advisers predicted Sunday that the economic downturn will continue for the next several months despite some signs that a recovery may take root by the end of 2009.
"I suspect that the economy will continue to decline for some time to come," National Economic Council Director Larry Summers said. But "I do think if you look at the consensus of professional forecasters, that consensus suggests a somewhat better performance towards the end of the year."
The former Clinton administration treasury secretary, speaking on the show "Fox News Sunday," noted that were several indications that the economy was starting to turn the corner.
"Six or eight weeks ago, there were no positive statistics to be found anywhere. The economy felt like it was falling vertically," he said.
"Today, the picture is much more mixed. There are some negative indicators, to be sure. (But) there are also some positive indicators."
(CNN) – President Obama's chief economic adviser Monday beat back recent criticism from liberal economist Paul Krugman over the administration's latest bank rescue plan, telling CNN Krugman was too quick to pass judgment.
"Paul's a great economic theorist and I wish he'd waited until the plan had been announced and the steps had been described before he had written his column," said Larry Summers, the director of the White House's National Economic Council.
Writing in the New York Times Monday, Krugman said the latest plan unveiled by the Treasury "fills me with a sense of despair" and "assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they’re doing."
The plan, fully unveiled Monday morning, proposes taxpayer funds to seed partnerships with private investors that will buy up toxic assets backed by mortgages and other loans. The goal is to buy up at least $500 billion of existing assets and loans, such as subprime mortgages that are now in danger of default.
Speaking on The Situation Room, Summers defended the plan, saying it is not designed to be a cure all for the banking system.
"What Mr. Krugman did today surprisingly was he took an action in one area - strengthening the capital markets - and he said it didn't solve another problem - the issues in the banking system. He's right about that. But it wasn't intended to," Summers said.