White House shifts from ‘recovery mode’ to reviving private-sector spending

The federal government has moved from economic “recovery mode” to focusing on “standing up” the private sector to fuel a turnaround, a top White House adviser said Sunday.

The U.S. economy has made strides since President Obama took office, but still has “a long way to go,” Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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President Obama intends to employ a strategy going forward to revive America’s private sector and get companies spending again, Goolsbee said.

“This president will enact [policies] to leverage corporate money,” he said, noting that was the impetus behind the Obama administration’s regulatory reform effort.

Several economic experts appearing on Sunday morning shows said U.S. firms are sitting on large stocks of funds, but those corporations are reluctant to begin spending again due to worries about the fragility of the economy.

Later, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” host Christiane Amanpour asked the chief White House economic adviser about an unidentified report due out this week that will label the current economic situation “a jobless recovery.”

Goolsbee rejected that characterization, noting the economy “has added 2 million jobs” in recent months.

Critics of the president’s economic approach are pointing to a jobs report from Friday that showed only 54,000 new positions were added in May, much lower than expected, in calling for a new approach. The unemployment rate tick up to 9.1 percent, according to the Labor Department.

“The trend is clear,” Goolsbee said. “Let’s not conclude too much from one [jobs] report.”


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