Jack Lew: ‘The U.S. Economy in a Strong Place Now’

‘We do worry a lot about the core strength of the U.S. economy’

O'DONNEL: "Let me ask you about the U.S. economy. The chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, said she wanted to keep interest rates at the same level. Can the U.S. economy handle an interest rate hike?" 
LEW: "The U.S. economy is -- in -- a strong place now. It's been growing in it with -- with sustained stable growth. I'm not going to comment on monetary policy. It's something that neither I nor other treasury secretaries ever do. But we do worry a lot about the core strength of the U.S. economy. You're aware where we were eight years ago and if anyone would've predicted that you would be approaching 5 percent unemployment with 13+ million new jobs created, no one would believed you eight years ago if you said that's what you were going to do. Now, with that said, we still have to do better in the U.S. economy. We have to make sure that the advantages of growth are spread more fairly; that the workers, middle-class workers have better wages. We need to make sure that we are not leaving behind -- the -- the real engines of growth, the people who work. I am going to leave on the Fed to decide when is the right time to move. But I think there no question if you look at the global economy right now, the U.S. is seen as one of the real foundations of stability. And I think it's really quite striking. Eight years ago, seven years ago, even four or three years ago, the question was how can the U.S. be the center of the global financial crisis. And now it's how is U.S. economy so resilient that it can bounce back when other economies are struggling to try to find a path to do..."

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