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Bush Touts Strong Economic Data


President Bush is attempting to reassure nervous U.S. financial markets after several days of steep declines. VOA's Michael Bowman reports from the White House, where Mr. Bush touted strong economic data amid a growing world economy.

With recent convulsions in the U.S. stock market appearing to shake the confidence of investors at home and abroad, President Bush pointed to figures showing the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the second quarter of this year. The number was a vast improvement over the first three months of the year, when the economy nearly stalled, expanding at a rate of less than one percent.

Speaking with reporters after meeting with his economic team, Mr. Bush urged the American people to "take a good look at this economy of ours."

"Job growth has been strong, and that is what you would expect when our economy is strong and resilient and flexible. People [are] working, [the] unemployment rate is down, wages are increasing," he said.

The president credited America's free enterprise system, along with a strong global economy that is purchasing American goods.

U.S. financial markets have been hit hard by continuing woes in America's housing sector, including soft home sales and high default rates among homeowners with high-risk, or so-called "sub-prime" mortgages. Concerns about a weak U.S. dollar are also said to have contributed to recent sell-offs that have seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed some 600 points this week after closing above 14,000 for the first time.

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