Obama Outlines 'State of the Economy'

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President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the economy still faces serious challenges but is starting to show "glimmers of hope."

Obama gave his economic outlook to a receptive audience, receiving a warm welcome on the campus of Georgetown University.

Billed as a "major speech" on the economy, President Obama struck a balance in measured optimism.

"There is no doubt that times are still tough. By no means are we out of the woods just yet," he said. "But from where we stand, for the very first time, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope."

Click play for more on President Obama's speech on the economy with CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody.  Also, click here to watch Obama's entire speech.

He also took aim at critics who've said he has taken on too much at once, pointing out what appear to be promising signs in home and auto sales and consumer spending.

The president pledged that his administration would continue to work on multiple financial fronts to fight against a deepening recession.

"Our most urgent task has been to clear wreckage, repair the immediate damage to the economy and do everything we can to prevent a larger collapse," he said.

Progress Report

Since taking office, the Obama administration has worked to inject capital into American banks, retool housing, offer a lifeline to cash-strapped auto manufacturers and sign the $787 billion Economic Recovery Act into law.

Tuesday, the president gave a progress report on the state of the economy, promoting promising statistics, while cautioning that it will take more time and more work before the bad economic news levels off.

Obama is attempting to show Americans that his policies are working and to take credit for the turnaround. With funding filtering to communities across the country, stimulus spending is starting to show its first effects.

If the stimulus package didn't go through we'd probably be laying off," said one company executive.

Will Spending Help or Hurt?

But with huge government deficits, it's still unclear just how much the spending will help -- or hurt -- in the long run.

In another positive sign that banks may be turning around. Goldman Sachs reported $1.6 billion in profits for the first quarter, coming ahead of Wall Street's expectations.

The firm also announced that it will raise $5 billion in stock to repay the government for bailout money it received last year.

Goldman and several other firms have been trying hard to get out from the government's grip, which limits executive pay. Goldman's CEO says the government-imposed pay caps and other restrictions limit their ability to compete at home and abroad.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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