President Barack Obama says the battered U.S. economy is starting to show "glimmers of hope," but the cost of bolstering the economy has pushed the government's budget deficit to record-high levels.
Mr. Obama spoke Friday after a White House meeting with top U.S. economic advisors and officials. He said the economy remains under "severe stress" and the administration still has "a lot of work to do" to restore economic growth and stop the loss of jobs. But a Treasury Department report Friday said the cost of those financial rescue efforts raised Washington's deficit to $956.8 billion for just the first half of the 2009 fiscal year that began in October.
The budget deficit was made worse as the recession cut the amount of tax revenue collected by the government.