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Bush Optimistic About Future US Economic Growth - 2003-07-19

President Bush says he sees "hopeful signs" that actions by his administration are helping spur economic growth in the United States.

Mr. Bush cited a strong housing market, low interest rates on loans, low inflation, stronger retails sales and an increase in productivity, which he called the most important indicator of economic strength.

The president said in his weekly radio address that the tax cuts approved by Congress are at least partly responsible. He said lower taxes and increased tax credits for families with children mean Americans now have more money to pay bills, save for education costs and invest in new homes or businesses.

And he called on Congress to act on what he called his "broad agenda for more growth and jobs." He appealed for approval of an energy bill, legislation to restrict lawsuits and a proposal to help unemployed people pay for job training and child care.

Mr. Bush said he met this past week with leading private economists who told him they expect a faster rate of economic growth in the United States in the next 18 months.