Obama trying to restore confidence in economy

A day after consumer concerns about the economy sent stocks sliding, President Barack Obama is trying to assure the American people that the economic recovery is headed in the right direction.

Obama is visiting Wisconsin on Wednesday to speak about the economy in Racine before taking questions in a town hall meeting.

The president is facing a public that is pessimistic about the economy. The latest Consumer Confidence Index, released Tuesday, showed its biggest drop since February and indicated Americans aren't in the mood to spend. Those factors are worrying businesses and investors: The Dow Jones industrial average closed down nearly 270 points Tuesday.

President Barack Obama meets with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

The dip in consumer confidence underscored a key concern for the Obama administration: While there are signs the economy is recovering, that recovery isn't reaching many Americans quickly enough. Unemployment is expected to remain around 10 percent through the end of the year, and some economists believe the jobs report due out Friday will show the economy has lost more jobs, a bleak forecast following five months of job growth.

Following a meeting of his economic advisers Tuesday, Obama acknowledged the economy still faces an uncertain future.

"We're now seeing some headwinds and some skittishness and nervousness on the part of the market and on the part of business and investors," he said. "We've still got a lot of work to do."

In the midst of two wars and one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation's history, Obama's challenge has been keeping his administration's work on the economy in the spotlight. That challenge could only increase as the administration moves forward on other domestic policy priorities, such as clean energy legislation and immigration reform.

source AFP

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