Surveys: U.S. Economy Strengthening

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Two new surveys show the U.S. economy is strengthening.

According to a Federal Reserve survey, banks have stopped erecting new hurdles for consumers and businesses to borrow money.

"Commercial banks generally ceased tightening standards on many loan types," the Federal Reserve said.

In addition, a survey from The Institute for Supply Management found that manufacturing activity has climbed to its highest levels in five years.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, President Obama is calling for more government help for smaller businesses.

He wants to funnel $30 billion to local banks so they can loan the money to small businesses.

The president is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting Tuesday on the topic in the politically significant state of New Hampshire in hopes of reenergizing voters in this election year.

However, his massive new federal budget proposal could be a bigger hurdle to voters this fall. The president's spending plan is $1.2 trillion over budget.

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