Thursday, February 18, 2010

Geithner: Growth stronger, but jobless rate will take time to drop

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner dropped by the N&O building this afternoon to talk with reporters and editors about the economy. Geithner was hampered by the loss of much of his voice, but he had some things to say:

-- The economy is in "dramatically stronger shape than it was a year or 18 months ago" but added, "It'll take us a long time to heal" the problems in the economy.

-- The price of credit has come dramatically down, he noted, and consumers are being more careful. "Consumers are borrowing much less and that's healthy" for individuals, he said.

-- A case can be made for "a series of targeted incentives" including tax credits to boost the economy. While people generally have their doubts about last year's stimulus, it helped stave off panic. And individual parts of the stimulus -- such as helping retain teachers and improving infrastructure -- actually were very popular with people, he said.

-- We can't go on forever without bringing down the deficit, he said, but we can't do it right now.

-- Asked if he was surprised that the unemployment rate remains high, he said, "I think the growth is stronger, sooner, than almost anyone predicted," but it going to take a long time for unemployment to come down.

-- Two things are notable about the economy now, he said. Productivity is very strong, and we're seeing "a huge amount of innovation" in companies. Companies are also expanding the work week and rehiring, but we have a long way to go because the economic crisis has caused a "huge amount of damage to people's confidence."


Anonymous said...

The damage in "peoples confidence" comes from obama and geithner.

The "stimu-less" did just that.

CMS just announced they were considering axing 800+ teachers?

This experiment in modern day politics can not bring
2012 soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Why should smart companies hire new workers or borrow from banks when they see Cap n Tax on the horizon and a health care program about to be rammed through that will add even more taxes? (I mean "fees")
This administration is so clueless, it's scary.

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