Bush backs strong dollar policy

TOYAKO (Japan) - US President George W. Bush yesterday said the American economy was not growing as quickly as he would like and that his administration supported a strong dollar policy.

By (Reuters)

Published: Mon 7 Jul 2008, 11:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:48 PM

“Our economy is not growing as robustly as we’d like,” Bush told reporters at a news conference after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda ahead of the G-8 leaders summit.

“We had positive growth in the first quarter, we’ll see what happens in the second quarter.”

The US economy grew at a one per cent annual rate in the first quarter amid soaring oil and commodity prices. In a sign of continuing weakness, the Labour Department reported last week US employers cut jobs for the sixth straight month in June.

“We’re not as strong as we have been during a lot of my presidency,” Bush added.

The Bush administration has come under pressure from abroad to take action to stabilise the weak US dollar, another issue likely to come up during the G-8 meetings at the lakeside resort of Toyako July 7-9, after complaints the weakness has contributed to soaring food and fuel prices.

“In terms of the dollar, the United States believes in a strong dollar policy and believes the strength of our economy will be reflected in the dollar,” Bush said when asked what world leaders could do to improve the economy and intervene to boost the dollar.

When pressed on potential intervention, Bush replied, “I just said, the relative strength of our economy will be reflected in currencies.”

But Bush and Fukuda did not discuss currencies at the meeting, Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama told reporters later in the day.

Bush also pointed to the $152 billion economic stimulus package approved earlier this year as helping the economy and urged the U.S. Congress to approve housing regulation reform and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Outer Continental Shelf to drilling to try to further boost the economy.

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