Lower oil prices are an unquestioned positive for the U.S. economy, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Thursday.
Speaking at the DealBook "Opportunities for Tomorrow" conference in New York, Lew said the plunge in energy and accompanying prices at the pump that have dropped well below $3 a gallon in most places have helped boost a U.S. economy that is doing well otherwise.
"Short-term we're seeing a U.S. economy that's growing with increasing strength, and lower energy prices are going to be a boost to consumer demand and confidence," he said.
He said the decline is "like a tax cut to the economy" and praised U.S. oil production as a "great success story."
Lew would not predict the future path of oil prices. He did say that forward cpntracts indicate that market conditions indicated the price would "trend back towards normal."
In other issues, Lew expressed some willingness to compromise on the latest spending battle raging in Washington.