Obama: 'We're Starting To See Progress'
President Obama said "we're starting to see progress" toward an economic recovery, following his skull session with his top economic advisers and agency heads at the White House this morning.
"If we stick with it, if we don't flinch in the face of difficulties, I feel absolutely convinced we are going to get this economy back on" track, Obama said, speaking with reporters after the meeting broke up. "What we're starting to see is glimmers of hope."
He pointed out that the Small Business Administration reported a 20 percent increase in its largest loan program last month, a sign that credit is beginning to flow again.
"I feel very good about unlocking lending," the president said.
He said consumers are starting to see the result of tax cuts in their paychecks.
"We've still got a lot of work to do over the next several weeks," Obama cautioned, and said "you will see additional acts by this administration.
Obama did not provide details of forthcoming plans, but they may include an increasingly active role in the fate of GM, if the company chooses a government-backed bankruptcy.
The economy is giving mixed signals. Wall Street pulled off a March rally that saw all major indices climb more than 10 percent. In this holiday-shortened week, the Dow moved up more than 1 percent and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each climbed more than 2 percent.
However, a survey of chief executives came out this week that showed deteriorating confidence looking forward to the rest of the year, unemployment is predicted to keep rising above its current level of 8.5 percent and investors only need 10 more consecutive months of 13 percent gains (as they experienced in March) to get...right back where they were in October 2007, at the market's height.
Obama met with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair, SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro and Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan.
The president did not take questions.
April 10, 2009; 12:13 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Obama, Small Business Administration, credit market, recession, recovery
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