CNN Senior White House Correspondent
The President's chief economic adviser is not quite as bullish about a turnaround as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who's predicting the recession may be over by the end of 2009.
Asked about Bernanke's prediction, Summers said he was upbeat about some aspects of the economy - such as a 22 percent spike in housing starts and recent upticks in the stock market - but said he was cautious about making any grand pronouncements.
Summers told CNN that while he's confident of a turnaround, "just what day the turn will come isn't something that i would dare to forecast" at this point.
"Something that the President has made clear to us is his approach and the approach he wants us to take is a recognition that we don't panic when there's a bad number, bad day on the markets, and we don't become euphoric when there's a good day in the markets, or a good number," Summers said in an exclusive interview with CNN.
Asked specifically about Bernanke's prediction on CBS' "60 Minutes" about the recession ending this year and 2010 potentially being a year of recovery, Summers demurred.
"We always are at pains to recognize when we talk to the President that economic forecasting is the most imperfect of sciences," said Summers. "Many people would say it wasn't a science at all. We stress the uncertainties in this situation."
But Summers said there is a "natural dynamic" to the business cycle. "And much more importantly the President's program, the economic recovery program, with reinvestment, substantial investment in our country, the tax cuts for middle class families, the measures to support the housing market and bring down the cost people have to pay for mortgages and prevent foreclosures” will have impact.
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