April 4th, 2010
12:28 PM ET
13 years ago

Economists: All signs good for continued U.S. economic growth

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.

Summers refused to be pinned down on when the unemployment rate might decline, noting that the increase in jobs does not automatically reduce overall unemployment.

As jobs are created, Summers told the ABC program, more people re-enter the labor force to look for work, so unemployment figures stay stagnant or can even go up.

On "State of the Union," Summers cited steps the Obama administration is taking to reduce the unemployment rate, including continued implementation of the $800 billion economic stimulus package from February 2009, new tax credits intended to encourage businesses to increase hiring, incentives for small
businesses to expand and initiatives to create a "new energy economy" that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy.

Republicans complain that the administration's policies were creating government jobs for political expediency, rather than stimulating private sector economic growth.

"At this time of high unemployment, when we need to focus on jobs, we should not be expanding government spending, government commitments, and government promises that crowd out the small businessman and businesswoman," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, in the GOP weekly radio address.

Updated: 1:46 p.m.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    But the lying 'gloom and doomers' from the GOP say the stock market isn't really up, the job market isn't improving, and they still refuse to stand up to big banks and Wall Street. How on Earth do 40% of the voters buy into their worthless crap?

    April 4, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Things continue to improve despite the "hell no!" efforts of the worthless GOP. It is beginning to look like the promised November surprise by the republicans may backfire and become an April Fool's joke on them instead.

    April 4, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Pragmatic

    "government promises that crowd out the small businessman and businesswoman,""

    Real republicans in action: Bush's campaign rarely called for spending cuts of any kind and even opposed eliminating the Department of Energy, whose abolition had been in every GOP platform since 1980.

    What the GOP says and what it does are two very different things!

    April 4, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Robert Warner

    Republicans are bereft of intellectual honesty. Rather than offer honest analysis, they simply promote themselves by going negative on anything associated with President Obama. They are worse than useless- they are expensive dead weight.

    April 4, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    For 8 years we had nobody watching the store but we respectively called him President Bush. It's past time for all Americans to give President Obama the respect he well deserves, he's working hard for all Americans.

    April 4, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Jean

    I like how they say new jobs are created, what are the figures for workers over 50 laid off by companies. My company sent my job to Hungary and while I am going back to school to try and get a job, there is nothing for the older worker.

    I voted Republican for over 30 years and switched in the last election, I have now switched back. We need a president with knowledge and experience not just a good talker as well as in the Senate and House.
    We are in need of a good overall in both.

    April 4, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. FL Wright

    It seems evident that the Republican party has no vested interest in helping the economy grow. They understand that if they sit on their hands and say "no" the economy won't resuscitate itself sufficiently for the November election. Sadly it's all about elections and holding power. The Republicans would rather see people out of work and thrown into the streets than to lend a healing hand. Thus it is incumbent upon the Democrats to pass all legislations with a majority vote, and dismiss any decorum that their partners across the aisle have any consideration for the American people. One has to be blind or crazy to infer anything else, for their inaction ought to be transparent. I recommend the Dems pass a job stimulus of $100 billion to assist local and state governments, which will help to save jobs for policemen, firemen, health care workers, legal aid, and other ancillary personnel necessary for local government. Moreover the states with the highest level of unemployment should be given preference. Together with the stimulus package for highways, bridges, and streets the economy has a better than average chance of pushing the unemployment to 8.7% by November 2010, if this bold step is implemented. This will not only be good news for the American people but for the Democrats who are interested in minimizing their losses in November.

    April 4, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. AK Steve

    Don't tell the republicans this. Economic recovery is the last thing they want to hear about. Now they will have to double their efforts to prevent growth – anything to make Obama look bad.

    Party over People. Long live the GOP.

    April 4, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. jules sand-perkins

    What BS, the "senior economists'" spin on our economic outlook: just look all around yourself.

    April 4, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. jbakaregit

    Great job Obama and Dems. Keep churning out jobs bill that put people back to work, who then pay taxes. It is clear to anybody that's been paying attention that the GOP is praying and hoping for economic failure (as well as a short-term memory on who put us in the economic ditch). If Obama succeeds in turning this country back to prosperity, they know their ideology is discredited and that they will be out in the political wilderness for a long time to come.

    Remember Dems, FDR reminded the country 10 YEARS after the Great Depression started who got the country into the ditch. Do the same.

    Vote Democrat or Independent come November.

    April 4, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    Recovery is going to be long slow and steady and I guess that is much better than a booming economy where things get out of control. Now if only we had some way to stop the Wall Street and Banking fools from screwing it all up again that would be great. Also, Mr. President, do not expect any credit for our recovery from Republicans because you did not do like they told you to do. "Naughty Boy" Mr. President. You went out there and showed them that you have a mind of your own and you know Republicans do not like it when they do not have control.

    April 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    Fact check: Don't trust an Obozo Admin. Economist! Whenever there is massive deficit spending and a socialist ideology that vilifies Business and free enterprise, the state of the US economy suffers extensively.

    The minimal improvement of late is NOT because of Obama's influence one iota but because of the strength of the American spirit and capitalism!

    April 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Adrian

    Keep up the good work President Obama! We will make it out of this recession with your leadership.

    April 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. babe40

    Why does the repub worry where the jobs are coming from as long as people are getting back to work.The private sector will also start seeing jobs come back. One step at a time.

    April 4, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Ethan

    We are well beyond the point of being able to trust Republicans on the economy. I hope that people now see that the Democratic Party has EARNED our trust on these issues, just as they have learned over the last two years that Democrats are not weak on Defense nor terrorism.

    April 4, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Jim

    The Private Sector was massively bleeding jobs under Bush, long before President Obama was elected. The Private sector has created lots of jobs for the Chinese and Indians with the tax cuts provided by the repubs. It hasn't worked for America and the average American knows it.

    April 4, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Bill from GA

    The trend turned the month President Obama took office, when job losses bottomed out at over 750,000 lost jobs per month. This little recognized fact should be the Dems campaign message, but nobody seems to acknowledge it.

    April 4, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |