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Bush defends free market system

Bush defends free market system
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US President George W Bush has been vigorously defending the free market system in the face of recent market turmoil.

Speaking on the eve of hosting a meeting of world leaders to address the problems, Bush said the surest path to sustained economic growth is free markets.

He told an audience at a conservative think tank in New York: “As we have seen in recent months, financial turmoil anywhere in the world can affect economies everywhere in the world.”

Bush added: “The leaders attending this weekend’s meeting agree on a clear purpose – to address the current crisis, and lay the foundation for reforms that will help prevent a similar crisis in the future.”

Bush did concede reforms are needed to correct the problems that led to the global financial crisis.

The US Treasury Department continues to modify its 560 billion euro rescue package.

Washington’s task keeps getting more difficult as the US economy slips further into recession.

Underscoring that, new figures show the number of US workers claiming drawing jobless benefits hit a 25-year high this month.

US imports fell by a record 5.6 percent in September and exports suffered their steepest drop since September 2001. Imports into the US from the European Union fell by 3.8 percent.