April 3, 2009 / 2:09 PM / in 10 years

White House's Romer: U.S. economy "sick" but some hope

Men look at a list of employers during the 2009 CUNY Big Apple Job Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, March 20, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House economic adviser Christina Romer said on Friday that February’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report showed a “sick” economy but there were “glimmers of hope” in consumer spending and housing.

“Realizing we’ve lost 741,000 jobs in the month of January really is frightening and here we lost another 663,000 this past month,” Romer told Bloomberg Television.

“There is no question the economy is sick, that is why we’re taking all of these actions we’re taking and feel this incredible sense of urgency.”

Romer, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said that if signs of stabilization in consumer spending and housing do not develop into more strength in those sectors by the summer or early fall, the Obama administration will have to reevaluate its economic policies.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish

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