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No Recession, But Housing Risky: Bush Advisor

A senior White House economist said on Friday he believes the U.S. economy is still strong and not headed for recession, though it remains at risk from the slumping housing market.

"As we look to the future, we still see a very solid economy," Edward Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview on CNBC.

"The biggest risk to the economy is the risk that we've had over the past few quarters, and that's housing. Housing will continue to take off from GDP growth even into the next quarter or two," he added.

President Bush on Thursday announced a plan to slow a wave of mortgage foreclosures that has threatened to push the economy into recession and rattled investors around the world.

Lazear said data released on Friday showing employers added a net 94,000 jobs in November signaled steady, noninflationary growth.

Lazear said he expects growth to slow from the 4.9 percent annual rate in the July-September period, but does not anticipate even a small recession.

"No, we're not concerned about that," he said. "We certainly are concerned that growth may not be quite as high this quarter as it was last quarter."

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