(Adds quotes from interview)
WASHINGTON, June 7 U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary
Locke said on Monday he was optimistic about the long-term
health of the U.S. economy despite concerns raised by the
sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
"Well it's obviously a fragile economy and we're really
feeling the effects of what's happening in Europe as well as
some of the concerns on Asia, but the fundamentals of the U.S.
economy are strong," Locke said in an interview on CNBC.
"We're seeing consumer confidence up, manufacturing orders
up, production up, hours up. Even the employment figures have
been up for the last five months in a row," Locke said.
Locke conceded that private sector job growth in the May
U.S. employment report was not "as much as we would like."
But U.S. economic growth for 2010 will be in "positive
territory, perhaps around 3 percent growth, compared to ...
2008 when it was negative 6 percent growth," Locke said.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by James Dalgleish)