Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the European debt crisis poses “some risk” to the U.S. and global economy.
Despite a “rise in some interest rates in some countries” over recent weeks European nations have made progress in resolving sovereign debt difficulties, Krueger said today at the Bloomberg Washington Summit.
“It still looks a lot better than it did last summer,” Krueger said. “It remains to be the case that the countries in Europe have the capacity to address the problems.”
Krueger also defended President Barack Obama’s record of working on behalf of U.S. middle-class families.
Real median household income was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and is down $2,900 since the recovery started in June 2009, according to an estimate from Sentier Research, an economic-consulting firm based in Annapolis, Maryland.
“The most important thing for strengthening the middle class was to get the recovery going,” Krueger said.
Krueger said the U.S. middle class “hasn’t done very well for the last 10, 20 years.”
He said it is “a bit premature” to assess the president’s record on middle-class economic interests because gains income for middle-income families typically don’t occur early in an economic expansion.