Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said Wednesday he expects the U.S. economy to expand at a quicker pace than in the first quarter, but there are still hurdles.
Summers, also a former Obama administration economic advisor, predicted growth in the low to mid 2 percent range for 2015. “That’s not inspiring performance,” he said, “but that’s hardly reversion to recession.”
“We still have a serious challenge of getting escape velocity and re-achieving rapid growth,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“That, along with inequality, has to be a central issue for us going forward.”
The struggles in the economy can’t be blamed on the tough lending environment, Summers said.
“There’s a problem for middle-class families looking to buy houses. The credit standards which were much too easy … swung too far, and they’re probably too difficult right now,” he said.
Important factors for U.S. growth, he asserted, are what’s happening in the global economy and the impact of the stronger dollar on U.S. multinational corporations feeling the pinch competing overseas.
Summers reiterated his call for increased infrastructure investment to help boost the U.S. economy and jobs. “This is a moment of epically low capital costs [and] a moment of epically low employment so there’s lots of opportunity to find people to do the work.”
“The right kind of business tax reform would [also] make a positive contribution,” he added.