At the NRF Annual Convention: O’Neill’s Mixed Forecast

New York–If U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paul O’Neill were a weather forecaster, he’d be predicting a mix of cloud and sun, with variable winds and temperatures. During his address at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention here on Jan. 15, O’Neill said that there are “signs that the economy is improving,” but he also warned that growth will be “less than the 3%-plus rate that we’d like to return to quickly.”

O’Neill also said that the Bush administration remains committed to pushing through a economic stimulus package. But while many retailers had been proposing a sales tax “holiday,” O’Neill said that it is not likely to be part of any stimulus package passed by Congress. O’Neill stressed the importance of passing a stimulus package “sooner rather than later” and said that the “leading position is to help people displaced due to the economic slowdown and also give money to those who are creating jobs.”

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