President Bush Monday released his annual economic report, which foresees a continuation of over three percent U.S. economic growth with strong employment growth and subdued inflation.
The president's report to Congress says growth this year should hold just below the 3.5 percent rate of 2005. Unemployment should hold at below the five percent level and inflation should fall to about 2.5 percent. The report emphasizes that the United States is the best performing of the world's biggest economies and has created 4.7 million new jobs since August 2003. The economy is expected to add two million jobs this year.
The report does not dwell at length on economic shortcomings, like the government's large budget deficit, a negative national savings rate, and a record high foreign trade deficit. Neither does it contain much financial data about the cost of the Iraq war and the emergency spending for homeland security.
Treasury Secretary John Snow echoed the president's optimistic forecast during remarks Saturday at a finance ministers' meeting in Moscow that is planning an economic summit slated for July.
"I reported on conditions in the U.S. economy, which continue to be good. With good growth and good strong job creation," he said.
There are increasing signs of a growth pickup in other economic regions that have been lagging behind the United States. Japan's economic statistics office is expected to report economic growth at a four percent annual rate for the final three months of 2005. And European Union finance ministers said Monday that they believe economic growth in the 25 nation bloc is picking up.
This year's U.S. economic report was prepared by a team that included Ben Bernanke, the former top White House top economic advisor who has succeeded Alan Greenspan as head of the central bank.