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Bush: economy not in recession, in slowdown

President Bush speaks at a news conference on the second day of the North American Leaders Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 22, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Tuesday said the U.S. economy was not in a recession but was experiencing a slowdown.

“We’re not in a recession, we’re in a slowdown,” Bush said at a news conference at the end of a two-day summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Bush pointed out that the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter and that the statistics for the first quarter were not out yet. “But there’s no question we’re in a slowdown and people are concerned about it, obviously,” he said.

Bush reiterated his view that taxes should not be increased, especially when the economy was showing sluggishness.

“The key is for Congress not to raise taxes during this period of time and (to) send a signal that they’re not going to raise taxes,” he said.

Writing by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Jonathan Oatis