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U.S. "relatively confident" can manage fiscal challenges -Geithner

NEW DELHI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday he was "relatively confident" that Washington can manage its fiscal challenges.

The U.S. economy could be pitched into a new recession because of substantial tax rises and government spending cuts - the so-called "fiscal cliff" - due to hit early next year unless Congress agrees to cancel or delay them.

But Geithner sounded a cautiously upbeat note at an India-U.S. business forum during a visit to New Delhi.

"Now we're growing close to potential but if you look through those factors, its a little more encouraging than you might think," he said. "We are now in a much stronger position than what is true for any other major developed economy."

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by John Chalmers)

((arup.roychoudhury@thomsonreuters.com)(+91 11 4178 1007 Reuters Messaging: arup.roychoudhury.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: INDIA USA/ECONOMY