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U.S. economy growing albeit slowly - Geithner.

| WASHINGTON, April 15 (KUNA) -- The U.S. economy is getting stronger, albeit slowly, putting it in a better position to deal with rising gasoline prices, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday. "If the economy keeps growing at a moderate pace, then, yes, more people will be back to work and you should see a gradual reduction in the unemployment rate," Geithner told ABC's "This Week" program. However, Geithner said it is "obviously still a very tough economy out there," following the economic meltdown that occurred around the time President Barack Obama entered into office.

Geithner said the slow pace of the recovery is to be expected, saying "I think it's not surprising, given the scale of the damage the crisis caused and how much damage you still see out there." "If you look at the evidence, the economy is getting stronger," he said, again tempering his optimism however by adding, "we have a ways to go still, a lot of challenges still ahead." He dismissed suggestions that the country's huge budget deficit put it at risk of being the next Greece. New claims for US unemployment benefits rose for the second consecutive week after falling to a four-year low, official data showed last week in a report signaling a rise in layoffs.

The Labor Department reported 380,000 initial jobless claims were filed in the week ended April 7, an increase of 13,000, or 3.5 percent, from the prior week's upwardly revised estimate.

The number was the highest since January, but the overall trend in claims has been in retreat as conditions slowly improve in the troubled job market.

The US economy created only 120,000 jobs in March, much lower than the 200, 000 forecast by economists. (end) KUNA 151857 Apr 12NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Apr 15, 2012
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