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Obama: Economic Recovery in Sight

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States may be seeing the "beginning of the end of the recession," saying his administration's policies helped stop the economic free fall.

Mr. Obama was speaking in North Carolina Wednesday to promote his health care agenda, but first took the time to address the economy.

He said efforts to bailout failing banks averted collapse in the financial sector, while steps taken to help struggling car companies saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in that industry.

The president said it will still take time to achieve a complete recovery.

A report from the U.S. Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, says the rate of economic decline is slowing.

The so-called "beige book" business survey shows economic activity continued to be weak in most districts, but that there were signs of stabilization.

Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturers continue to struggle. A Commerce Department report shows orders for U.S. goods fell 2.5 percent in June, largely due to declining demand for automobiles and airplanes.

The fall in orders for so called "durable goods" that are meant to last more than three years represents the biggest drop since January, and is much larger than analysts had expected.

Demand for transportation equipment was particularly weak, with orders for commercial aircraft falling 39 percent. But, excluding the volatile transportation industry, orders for goods in other sectors rose about one percent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Bloomberg.