The following appeared on page 2C of the Saturday May 17, 2008 issue of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that financial markets are "considerably calmer" now than they were two months ago. He predicted the economy will rebound by the second half of this year. In a speech to business executives in Washington, Paulson said the drag from housing, which he characterized as still the biggest risk to the economy, will soon be lessened by nearly $100 billion in economic stimulus payments to U.S. households.
"The fiscal stimulus will provide support to the economy as we weather the housing correction, capital-markets turmoil and higher energy and food prices," Paulson said in his prepared remarks.
The economy has been pushed to the brink of a recession by a prolonged housing slump, a credit crisis, soaring energy prices and more than a quarter-million layoffs over the past four months. In his remakrs, Paulson never used the word recession, although many private economists believe the country is in one.