White House chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers said on Thursday during a luncheon meeting of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., that the sense of “free-fall” for the U.S. economy is likely to end in the middle of the year, though the road to recovery, he added, could take some time, noting that there are “still substantial strains in credit markets.”
“Economies don’t go from losing 600,000 jobs a month to a terribly happy path overnight,” Summers said.
His comments came after a series of data and economic indicators have suggested the rate of decline in the economy is slowing. “I think the sense of a ball falling off the table — which is what the economy has felt like since the middle of last fall — I think we can be reasonably confident that that’s going to end within the next few months..” Summers said.
Summers also said that it remained unclear how long it would take for the economy to return to strong, sustained growth. [via Reuters]
Summers’s appearance at the Economic Club was interrupted for several minutes by Codepink protesters that criticized him and the government’s actions for bailing out the financial institutions.