(Adds Bush quotes, background)
WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Tuesday said the U.S. economy was not in a recession and that he believed it would not fall into a downturn.
“We’re not in a recession, I don’t think we will go in a recession. We’re in a slowdown, and there’s a difference,” Bush said in an interview with American Urban Radio Networks.
Bush’s comments came on a day when economic reports showed U.S. consumer confidence slumped to its worst in five years, and home prices fell 8.9 percent last year.
“No question there’s softening now,” Bush said. But he added that he was confident in the resiliency of the economy.
Bush has signed into law a $152 billion package of tax rebates and business incentives aimed at warding off an election-year recession. (Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by James Dalgleish)