U.S. President Barack Obama says his $787 billion economic Recovery Act is helping to turn the nation's economy around. The president commented on new figures that show the recession may be starting to fade.
President Obama says the stimulus legislation he enacted in February is a big reason behind the encouraging news.
"This and other difficult but important steps that we have taken over the last six months have helped us put the brakes on the recession," he said.
The Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by one percent from April to June. That is less than economists had expected, and far better than the 6.4 percent contraction from January to March.
Mr. Obama says another encouraging sign is that business investment, which had been plummeting for several months, is showing signs of stabilizing.
"This means that eventually, businesses will start growing and they will start hiring again. And that is when it will truly feel like a recovery to the American people," he said.
Also Friday, the House of Representatives voted to rush $2 billion into the government's popular program to encourage Americans to trade in old automobiles and buy new, fuel-efficient vehicles. The president says the program has succeeded beyond his expectations.
"It is working so well that there are legitimate concerns that the funds in this program might soon be exhausted. So we are now working with Congress on a bipartisan solution to ensure that the program can continue for everyone out there who is still looking to make a trade," he said.
Despite signs of progress, the U.S. unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, its highest in 26 years. Administration officials expect next week's numbers to show that hundreds of thousands more Americans have lost their jobs. Mr. Obama says he will not be satisfied until those jobs are restored.