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GE CEO says economy stabilized, growth a question

General Electric Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt in a file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

NISKAYUNA, New York (Reuters) - Improved credit markets have brought stabilization to the economy but it is still not clear when growth will resume, General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said on Tuesday.

“The credit picture, we think, is improving and that’s really one of the fundamentals to getting the broader economy doing better,” Immelt said in an interview with Reuters. “Things certainly have stabilized and now the goal is to see where growth goes in the second half of the year.”

The largest U.S. conglomerate said it was seeking funding from the federal stimulus program for a new battery factory it plans to build outside Albany, New York. That marks GE’s first request for stimulus-related funding, but Immelt said he hoped it would not be the last.

“We’ve got great projects, we’ve got a great technology pipeline in renewables, clean energy, health care IT, things like that,” Immelt said. “The government is still deciding what the process is going to be.”

GE remains on-track to hit its goal of $25 billion in “Ecomagination” green business revenue by 2010 despite economic headwinds, Immelt said.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Brian Moss

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