President Bush Acknowledges Weakness In US Economy

NEW YORK (AP) — President Bush says the U.S. economy is obviously “going through a tough time” but urged the country to be optimistic about the future.

Bush spoke Friday before The Economic Club of New York. He said this isn’t the first time the economy has been rattled and added that he’s certain it will remain resilient and bounce back.

While he acknowledged that gas and food prices are up and housing values are down, he noted that unemployment is low – at 4.8 percent – and that productivity is strong.

The president also praised the Federal Reserve for its efforts to boost the economy.

The Fed has cut interest rates several times and Friday announced that it’s ready to combat a credit crisis. The central bank endorsed an arrangement to help troubled investment house Bear Stearns and said it stands ready to provide extra resources.

Bush says the chairman of the Fed and the treasury secretary are ready to take steps to promote stability in U.S. markets.