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Obama touts economic progress

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Obama touts economic progress

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Offering an optimistic assessment of efforts to revive the US economy but also warning of continued tough times, President Barack Obama has said he believes there are signs of recovery but we’re not out of the woods yet.

In a speech in Washington, Obama said there will be more job losses, more homes reposessed and more pain before the recession ends. He explained his government’s effort to stimulate the world’s biggest economy and why they’re needed: “If every family in America, if every business in America cuts back all at once, then no one is spending any money, which means there are no customers, which means there are more layoffs, which means that the economy even gets worse. That’s why the government has to step in and temporarily boost spending in order to stimulate demand. That’s exactly what we are doing right now.” Underscoring Obama’s warning that 2009 would continue to be a difficult year new government figures showed US retail sales fell in March confounding economists who had hoped they would pick up. Retail sales are closely tracked as consumer demand is the biggest driver of US economic activity. Americans are reluctant to spend with the unemployment rate at a 25-year high.