Economic tide has turned - White House

By the CNN Wire Staff


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. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,810.06 91.06 0.51%
Nasdaq 4,712.97 11.10 0.24%
S&P 500 2,063.50 10.75 0.52%
Treasuries 2.32 -0.02 -0.86%
Data as of 1:50pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.12 0.12 0.71%
Kinder Morgan Inc 39.75 -0.17 -0.43%
Apple Inc 116.47 0.16 0.14%
Intel Corp 35.59 -0.36 -1.00%
Microsoft Corp 47.98 -0.72 -1.48%
Data as of Nov 21

Sections

This arrangement, announced Friday, illustrates how the lines have blurred between traditional TV networks and newfangled options like Netflix. More

The Obama administration is touting that its immigration action will boost wages. But the hike amounts to only $170 a year by 2024. More

Regin is malware has been lurking in computers for as long as six years, according to Symantec. But experts don't know much about where it is from, what it does and who has been targeted. More

Obama doesn't have the authority to create a startup visa, but part of his reform announcement could include a workaround for entrepreneurs: 'parole status.' More

Nearly half of all Americans say there's a chance they'll have to work during a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a new poll. And one in four say they'll have to work whether they want to or not. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.