Snow Sees U.S. Growth This Year

By Agence France-Presse U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow expects the U.S. economy to grow by 3.3% this year thanks to a huge stimulus package, according to a U.S. Treasury official at the Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Paris on Feb. 21. The official also added that bilateral meetings between Snow and his counterparts from France, Germany, Italy and Russia were dominated by the Europeans' questions about the U.S. economic outlook and President George Bush's US$674 billion stimulus proposals. Iraq also came up in the conversations, in the context of the uncertainty about the situation, which was impacting both the economic outlook and oil prices. In his bilateral meeting with French Finance Minister Francis Mer, Snow stressed there should not be an assumption that war with Iraq is inevitable, the U.S. official said. Both Mer and Snow agreed that oil prices are not at alarming levels and should stabilize in time. In talks with Mer, Snow also reaffirmed his support for a strong dollar policy. Policymakers in Europe and Japan are growing increasingly concerned that the dollar's weakness could stall a recovery in their export-oriented economies as their products become more expensive on world markets. Mer also asked about Snow's position on foreign exchange. Snow stood by the strong dollar policy. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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