U.S. President Barack Obama says all signs indicate that the economy is going to start growing again.

He said the financial markets are working again, and the major challenge is going to be making up for all the jobs that have been lost.  Mr. Obama said the employment situation is probably not going to improve, and could even get worse, during the next couple of months.

The economy was just one of the many issues Mr. Obama addressed during a series of pre-taped interviews broadcast Sunday on five networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the Spanish-language network Univision.

Mr. Obama spoke about a probe into allegations that CIA interrogators abused prisoners during the Bush administration.  Former CIA chiefs have asked him to stop that investigation.

Mr. Obama said he does not want to get into the business of squelching investigations and has no interest in witchhunts, but he said, ultimately, the law is the law and it must be enforced uniformly.

The president also used the interviews to defend his controversial efforts to overhaul the U.S. health care system.   

Opponents say the Obama administration's reform efforts will lead to a government-takeover of the health care system, which they oppose.  They also say Mr. Obama's plans will amount to a tax increase on the middle class, which Mr. Obama flatly denied.

Mr. Obama also said the contentious debate about his health care agenda is not driven by racism, as some have suggested.  He said the debate is instead motivated by an intense concern about the proper role of government.

The president appeared on a record five television news programs as he tries to deflect criticism of his policies.  He is the first president to appear on five major networks in one day.

On Monday evening, he will appear on an entertainment show, the Late Show with David Letterman, that hosts popular actors and musicians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.