Rice: US economy is resilient

January 23, 2008 10:34:10 AM PST
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a nod to the anxiety that has enveloped the World Economic Forum, said Wednesday that the U.S. economy was resilient and would remain an "engine of growth." Speaking to an audience of chief executives and world leaders, Rice said the $150 billion stimulus package proposed by President Bush would "boost consumer spending and support business investment this year."

Her remarks came after two days of wild market swings worldwide and the surprise Federal Reserve interest rate cut on Tuesday lowered its benchmark rate to 3.5 percent from 4.25 percent in between regular policy-setting meetings.

"I know that many are concerned by the recent fluctuations in U.S. financial markets, and by concerns about the U.S. economy," Rice said. "President Bush has announced an outline of a meaningful fiscal growth package that will boost consumer spending and support business investment this year."

She said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who canceled his own visit to the World Economic Forum annual meeting at the last minute, was "leading our administration's efforts and working closely with the leaders of both parties in Congress to agree on a stimulus package that is swift, robust, broad-based, and temporary."

The U.S. economy is "resilient, its structure sound, and its long-term economic fundamentals are healthy," Rice said. "And our economy will remain a leading engine of global economic growth," she added.

"So we should have confidence in the underlying strength of the global economy - and act with confidence on the basis of the principles that lead to success in today's world."