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Bush Says Economy Likely to Remain in Good Health


In his annual economic report, President Bush says the U.S. economy is likely to continue growing at about a three percent rate this year, while inflation remains under control and personal incomes rise. VOA's Barry Wood has more.

The president's top economist, former Stanford University professor Ed Lazear, says the U.S. economy is balanced and robust.

"My job is an easy one this year because the economy is strong," said Ed Lazear. "Last year's growth was stronger than the previous year. We saw growth [in 2006] of 3.4 percent. Unemployment is low, real wages are rising at a rapid pace and the prospects for future wage growth remain very good."

Lazear says in the report, that is required by Congress, that the United States is in its 41st month of continuous strong growth, faster than any other major industrial democracy. The report says since the expansion began in 2001 7.4 million jobs have been created, including two point two million in the past 12 months.

The president's economist said this country's three percent annual gain in productivity in the envy of many countries. He attributes much of that advance to an inflow of foreign investment.

"We also know that international trade and particularly international investment has been key to capital formation and productivity growth in the United States," he said. "The U.S. is the most desirable country for foreign investment right now and we are able to attract foreign investment and other investment because of the strength of our economy and our prospects for the future."

The 351-page report praises the tax cuts enacted during the Bush presidency, saying sound economic policies begin with low taxation. The report does call attention to the unfunded liabilities in health care and retirement that the government faces over the longer-term. It projects an end to deficit financing by 2012.