President sounds more upbeat than in previous weeks
WASHINGTON – Turning more upbeat, President Obama said Friday that his administration is working to create a “post-bubble” model for solid economic growth once the recession ends. He said that means the days of overheated housing markets and “people maxing out on their credit cards” are over.
But first, Obama said, “We’ve got to get through this difficult period.”
There are “modestly encouraging signs” on that score, said Lawrence Summers, Obama’s top economic adviser, citing indications that consumer spending had stabilized after taking a dive over the holiday season.
The White House attempts to be positive matched a fourth straight day of stock market gains – Wall Street’s best week since November.
Administration officials were criticized earlier this year for painting too dark a picture of the economy in an effort to win congressional passage of the president’s $787 billion stimulus package. But more recently, Obama and others have tempered their comments in hopes of building confidence.
Despite the new enthusiasm at the White House and on Wall Street, there was little solid evidence to suggest that an end was in sight to the severe recession, which has already cost the U.S. more than 4 million jobs, driven home values down and sent foreclosures soaring.
Also Friday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern over the U.S. economy and the value of his own nation’s vast holdings in U.S. Treasury bonds. China is Washington’s biggest foreign creditor, holding an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt.