May 14, 2008 / 12:31 AM / 12 years ago

White House: data shows U.S. not in recession

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The economy is not in a recession and looks set to dodge one, although it is still unclear when the housing market will bottom out, a top White House adviser said on Tuesday.

“If you look at the data right now, at least by historical standards, we are not in what would normally be characterized as a recession,” Edward Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview with Reuters.

Lazear said the housing market was showing some signs of life in recent months, but until inventories are reduced, there will not be a significant turnaround. But he noted that credit was flowing “a bit better.”

“Until we get that inventory cleared out of the market, I don’t think we are going to see a significant turnaround,” he said.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and Joanne Morrison, editing by Dan Grebler

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