Mon, Jan 17, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Summers sees 3% to 4% US growth in coming years

Bloomberg

The US economy probably will grow between 3 percent and 4 percent annually over the next several years, said Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary and director of the National Economic Council.

“I would expect growth to be comfortably above 3 percent over the next several years,” Summers said in an interview airing yesterday on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, according to a transcript. “And I think we’ll start to see, before long, growth getting closer to 4 than to 3.”

Summers, who stepped down as NEC director at the end of the year to return to Harvard University, also said that cutting the federal budget deficit should be a priority for US President Barack Obama.

The president has laid “the right foundation for deficit reduction going forward,” Summers said. “And there’s no question that that’s got to be a priority over the next several years.”

Last year’s deficit was a record US$1.3 trillion. Obama and congressional Republicans agreed last month on the two-year tax-cut package that will add US$858 billion to the deficit.

Summers said that some of the jobs lost during the recession won’t come back and that new jobs will arise in other fields.

He said the information technology business is “taking off” because of the popularity of mobile devices including Apple Inc’s iPad, released last year.

“What has always been the American story is that jobs are lost in some sectors and jobs come back in other sectors,” Summers said.

Obama has named Gene Sperling, who had been a counselor to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to succeed Summers as NEC director.

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