GDP "reminder" to Congress of need to address spending - White House

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:02pm GMT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A report revealing the U.S. economy contracted in the fourth quarter shows Congress needs to take steps to avert a series of automatic spending cuts slated to take effect in March, said Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, on Wednesday.

"Today's report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy," said Krueger in a blog post shortly after the release of new government data on gross domestic product.

There are other economic indicators that suggest the U.S. economy continued to recover in the fourth quarter, Krueger said, noting a deal between Congress and President Barack Obama to avoid tax hikes for most Americans may also have resolved some uncertainty that weighed on the economy.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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