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US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the country's economy is recovering from a severe recession and he does not expect it to slip back into a downturn.
In an interview on NBC television's "Meet the Press", Geithner played down fears that a slow-paced recovery might slide into a double-dip recession.
Timothy Geithner, US Treasury Secretary, said, "I think the most likely thing is you see an economy that gradually strengthens over the next year or two, you see job growth start to come back again, again investments expanding, manufacturing is getting a little stronger, exports better, those are very encouraging signs. But, we've got a long way to go still."
Geithner indicated that he wants to allow tax cuts for the wealthy to expire in order to reduce the country's long-term budget deficit.
He said only 2 to 3 percent of Americans who make two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more a year will be affected when the cuts expire this year.
He said he does not believe higher taxes for high earners will hurt economic growth.
Geithner also said that the overhaul of US financial rules signed into law last week by President Barack Obama should bolster confidence in the economy. They give consumers new protection and the government more powers to restrain bank risk-taking.
Geithner also said the Obama administration wants Congress to agree measures to help small businesses, traditionally the main engine of job-creation. He said there were signs "critical" private sector hiring was improving.