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Bush: US Economy Strong and Getting Stronger - 2004-02-09

President Bush says the U.S. economy is strong and getting stronger. Mr. Bush says more job growth is in the offing.

On the day the White House issued its annual economic forecast, the president took to the road to promote his policies.

He went to the state of Missouri, where those seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination competed in a recent primary.

Polls say most Americans think the economy will be the biggest issue in the November election. During a meeting with small business owners and employees in the city of Springfield, President Bush said the nation's economic health is improving under his watch.

"The growth is good. New jobs are being created," he said. "Interest rates are low. Home ownership in America is at one of the highest levels ever and that is positive. People are owning their own homes."

Mr. Bush said two forces have spurred the economy: the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, and the tax cuts he pushed through Congress. He urged the legislature to make those cuts permanent.

"When you cut the taxes for the people, you let them keep more of their own money," he said. "It means somebody is going to demand an additional good or a service, and when they demand an additional good or service in our economy, somebody is going to produce that good or service."

Shortly before President Bush left Washington for Missouri, the White House released copies of its annual economic report to Congress.

In the 412-page document, the president's economic advisors say the outlook for continued economic growth is good. They also predict a substantial number of new jobs will be created this year.

Democrats have complained that the administration is not doing enough to increase participation in the labor force. But the White House economic team says non-farm payroll employment should go up from 130.1 million in 2003 to 132.7 million in 2004.