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U.S. medium-term outlook "okay" : economist

(Xinhua)

14:47, May 04, 2012

CHICAGO, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. economy is currently facing a slew of problems from high unemployment to a depressed housing sector, but they are still relatively manageable compared to those facing European countries, economist Austan Goolsbee said.

Goolsbee, who previously served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and a member of President Barack Obama' s cabinet, said he was relatively optimistic regarding the U.S. economy.

"Unlike Europe, where the medium-run I think is quite pessimistic, I think the medium-run for the U.S. is actually okay," Goolsbee said Thursday at an international conference for the Chicago Council on Global titled Searching for Strategies to Restore Global Economic Stability and Growth.

Goolsbee continued that the United States had a number of factors in its favor that were currently not enjoyed by countries across the Atlantic, and that although the U.S. deficit must be dealt with in time it was currently "manageable."

In contrast, European countries were already facing a higher debt to GDP level, value added taxes (VATs) of around 20 percent, income tax rates and spending significantly above U.S. levels, and in particular dramatically aging populations, the economist said.

On the current Eurozone crisis, Goolsbee commented that these will only get worse and that there was no obvious next step to take, whereas the United States could increase taxation or take on more debt relative to GDP if necessary.

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