CNNMoney.com Staff Reporter
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama said Monday that his economic policies helped prevent a depression, although he acknowledged that many Americans are still struggling.
In a town hall meeting sponsored by the CNBC cable network, Obama responded to questions from unemployed workers, recent college graduates, small business owners and one prominent hedge fund manager. He sought to reassure middle class families that the American dream is still attainable, while at the same time rebutting criticism that he is anti-business.
The meeting came on the same day that the National Bureau of Economic Research said the Great Recession, which began in December 2007, officially ended in June 2009. However, economists are debating whether the U.S. economy is headed for another downturn, a so-called double-dip recession.
Obama, who was sworn in as president in January 2009, said the steps his administration took early on helped stabilize the economy and prevent a repeat of the Great Depression. But he acknowledged that the recession "is still very real" from millions of unemployed Americans and those hurt by the foreclosure crisis.
"A lot of people are still hurting," he said. "The question then becomes: what can we put in place so that the trend lines continue in the positive direction."
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