Monday, March 1, 2010

Summers On Winter

White House economic adviser Larry Summers said today that winter blizzards were likely to distort U.S. February jobless figures, during a CNBC interview, according to Reuters. The numbers are due to be released on Friday.

"The blizzards that affected much of the country during the last month are likely to distort the statistics. So it's going to be very important ... to look past whatever the next figures are to gauge the underlying trends," Summers said.

No surpirse here, it's all about Wenzel's Observation #3: When you have an El NiƱo year, combined with a year of a strong negative Arctic Oscillation, toss out the January and February economic data.

Summers, director of the White House's National Economic Council, also said the United States was closely monitoring Greece's debt problems and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was encouraged by what he had heard from European officials about the issue.

"With respect to Europe, I am obviously very concerned about what's happening in Greece and Portugal, in Spain, in Italy, on the European continent," Summers said.

"I think there have been increasing signs of recognition both in Greece and in the major countries of Europe that this is a situation that has to be managed; that combination of getting the Greek budget under better control and providing more support is necessary to stabilize this situation."

During the interview Summers brushed aside speculation that he was interested in changing jobs.

"I like what I'm doing," he said. "My view is if the president asks me to do something in which I think I can make a contribution, the right approach to it is to say yes, and that's why I'm very pleased to be here working at the National Economic Council."

1 comment:

  1. One wonders what he'll say when the weather is perfect and the unemployment rate is 11%.