Sunday, April 12, 2009

Obama sees 'hope' for US economy

US President Barack Obama has said he sees "glimmers of hope" in the economy, but warned that the system remained under "severe strain".

Speaking after a meeting with his top economic advisers, he said there was still "a lot of work to do".

Mr Obama promised more action on the economy in the coming weeks.

He said he and his team had discussed the stability of the financial system, the housing market and plans to help banks clear their books of bad assets.

'A lot of hardship'

Mr Obama was speaking after a meeting at the White House with top strategists including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke.

He told journalists afterwards: "We're starting to see progress.

"If we stick with it, if we don't flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track."

The president cited increases in loans to small businesses, tax-cut cheques going out and new investments in infrastructure and energy projects as signs of hope for the economy.

But he added a note of caution, saying that the measures taken had to "translate into economic growth and jobs and rising income for the American people."

"And right now we're still seeing a lot of job losses, a lot of hardship, people finding themselves in some very difficult situations," he said.

"We still have a lot of work to do, and over the next several weeks you'll be seeing additional actions by the administration."