Obama Hoping for 4% Growth: NEC's Sperling

Gene B. Sperling, an American economist and political expert.
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Gene B. Sperling, an American economist and political expert.

The Obama administration is hoping that the US economy will grow 4 percent this year, leading to a fall in unemployment, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC Monday.

“We’ve seen the economy start to improve—although not nearly enough for this president or any American,” added Sperling.

“The 3.2 percent growth in the fourth quarter had some encouraging signs in it in terms of consumer spending, in terms of export growth."

Sperling said that passing the bipartisan tax deal in December was very important to the administration and added, “You’ve seen a lot of people who were projecting growth in the low 3s now start to look for growth significantly higher. I do think if you can get growth at that level, we can start to see the unemployment rate come down.”

Sperling said that he didn’t expect the political problems in Egyptto impact US economic growth.

“Everyone should understand that Egypt is not a major oil producer,” said Sperling. "It’s the 28th or 29th largest oil producer in the world. Actually, I think they're a net importer.”

The director said that oil prices spiked 2 percent to 4 percent on Friday, but since then the impact of Egypt’s strife here in US has been muted.

He added: “Rising oil prices are never a good thing for economic growth.”