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Obama: Unemployment Will Top 10 Percent


The world is getting another glum assessment of the U.S. economy.

U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday admitted earlier predictions by his administration were too optimistic and says it is now clear the country's unemployment rate will top 10 percent this year.

Still, the president told a White House news conference that he does not think the country needs a second stimulus package to spark an economic revival.

Mr. Obama signed a $787 billion rescue package earlier this year to try to reverse the worst recession to hit the U.S. in decades.

Earlier Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors said the number of U.S. home sales rose in May by 2.4 percent, but prices fell almost 17 percent from the same time a year ago.

A severe downturn in the U.S. housing market was a major factor in sparking the recession.

A survey of top U.S. business leaders shows they see continued weakness in the U.S. economy, but say the situation is "beginning to stabilize." That is a less pessimistic outlook than they reported in the first few months of this year. The survey by the "Business Roundtable" polls chief executives of leading companies that together employ 10 million people and do $5 trillion worth of business a year.

Also Tuesday, top officials of the U.S. central bank are meeting in Washington to consider interest rates and assess the economic situation. Economists interviewed by news organizations expect the Federal Reserve will keep the key interest rate at its current very low range - of 0 to 0.25 percent - when they announce their decisions on Wednesday.

During his Tuesday news conference, President Obama said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has done "a fine job under very difficult circumstances." But he also said the Fed and other U.S. financial regulators could have done more to prevent the financial crisis.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.

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