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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Wednesday said that despite a gaffe by President Obama last week, in which the president said the private sector is “doing fine,” the administration understands the economy is in tough shape.

He acknowledged that, given pressures from Europe, the U.S. economy is not on track to bring down the current 8.2 percent unemployment rate faster, and implored Congress to act on stalled legislation to create jobs,

“It is a very tough economy still … growth not as strong as we would like,” he said, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Most forecasters look at the American economy and they say [it will] grow at roughly a 2 percent rate. … That is not strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate faster,” he said.

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