A key U.S. official says there is reason to be encouraged about the economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met Thursday with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde in Paris.

Geithner says efforts to reform the U.S. financial system are creating a greater sense of confidence and that businesses are now smarter about taking risks.  But he warns there is still a need for comprehensive reform of the way financial companies pay their employees.

Geithner and the French prime minister also spoke about the impact of economic stimulus packages and about the possibility of new sanctions against Iran over the country's failure to abide by United Nations resolutions concerning its nuclear program.

The U.S. treasury secretary is on the final leg on a trip that has also taken him to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Geithner visited Abu Dhabi as part of an effort to ease concerns among Gulf leaders about their U.S. investments.

On Tuesday, Geithner told business representatives in Saudi Arabia that the United States recognizes its responsibility to protect the dollar, given the currency's role in the international financial system.

Five Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, peg their currencies to the dollar.