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W. House's Summers: Fix economy first, then deficit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States cannot address its ballooning debt and deficit without first fixing the economy, White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers said on Friday.

“The greatest risk to future U.S. deficits would be uncontrolled economic contraction in the United States,” Summers said in response to a question about U.S. deficits.

“Containing this downturn and preventing the kind of debt dynamics you saw in Japan or you saw during the Depression in the United States has to be the first priority of anyone concerned with national creditworthiness or any intellectually honest deficit hawk,” he added.

Editing by James Dalgleish

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