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Gov't Adviser Says Economy Likely To Contract

Top Obama adviser is predicting another economic contraction in the second quarter of the year and continued increases in unemployment for the next several months.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A top Obama adviser is predicting another economic contraction in the second quarter of the year and continued increases in unemployment for the next several months.

The downbeat assessment from Christina Romer, the chairwoman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, comes in the wake of Wednesday's report that the overall economic output in the United States declined rapidly in the first three months of this year.

Romer was testifying Thursday before Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

Despite the short-term pessimism, Romer said the White House expects the pace of the economic decline will moderate sharply over the next several months. She specifically pointed to increased consumer confidence and to signs that the housing sector appears to be reaching bottom.

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