By Susan Crabtree - 12/13/09 04:56 PM EST
Key members of President Barack Obama’s economic team on Sunday agreed with
outside experts and predicted positive economic growth next year.
Appearing on ABC’s "This Week," Larry Summers, the White House’s top economic adviser, defended the president’s economic record and predicted unemployment rates to decrease significantly in just a few months.
“Most professional forecasters are now looking for a return to job growth by spring,” he added.
Summers and Christina Romer, chairwoman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, disagreed on whether the recession is officially over.
“For the people on Main Street and throughout this country, they are still suffering, the unemployment rate is still 10 percent,” she said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
Romer also said the jobless rate could go up before it comes down.
“I would anticipate some bumps in the road before [a full economic recovery],” she said.
The two also previewed the tough message Obama plans to send to the nation’s top banking executives during a White House meeting Monday designed to bring about more accountability from financial institutions.
“He’s going to have a serious talk with bankers,” Summers said. “The country did incredible things for the banking industry. Those things had to be done to save the economy, but no major bank would be intact, in a position to pay bonuses, if that extraordinary support had not been provided. The bankers need to recognize that.”
Other economic experts, however, argued that Washington has created an unpredictable environment for businesses looking to invest by pushing healthcare reform and new taxes on carbon emissions in the middle of a recession.
Businesses are choosing to invest in other countries during this time of uncertainty, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan asserted.
“Investment occurs when you have a stable economy, when you can foresee what things are going to do in the future…it’s very critical that we get the uncertainties out of the system,” he warned.