New US jobless figures seem to show the world’s biggest economy is slowly struggling out of recession.The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefit rose slightly more than expected last week but the underlying trend was downwards. That comes as investors take heart at upbeat earnings reports over the past few weeks from a raft of companies. However, the US financial markets remain volatile amid worries that the surge in share prices has outpaced the economic recovery. This week President Barack Obama felt the need to launch a spirited defence of his economic policies, declaring they have helped to save the US from plunging into a depression. He hit out at his critics: “So there’s no doubt things have gotten better. We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession. Those same critics contributed to a $1.3 trillion deficit that I inherited when I took office.” With opinion polls showing Americans have growing doubts about his policies, Obama is asking them to patient saying the impact of stimulus packages will not kick in until late this year or early next year.