US & Canada

Obama says housing glut hindering economic recovery

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Media captionPresident Obama: "Slowly, but surely, we are moving in the right direction"

President Barack Obama has said an over-supply of homes is hindering the US economic recovery.

Mr Obama also said the US had to find a way to curb its budget deficit without further slowing economic growth.

"People, consumers, are not going to start spending until they feel a little more confident that the economy's getting stronger," he said in Ohio.

Mr Obama is touting Democratic policies on a campaign-style swing through important electoral states.

The president told a group of about 30 voters at a private home in the city Columbus that a glut in the housing market was partly responsible for the slow economic recovery.

"The housing market is still a big drag on the economy as a whole," he said.

"It is going to take some time for us to absorb this inventory, that was really too high... We were building 2 million homes a year when only 1.4 were being absorbed."

Mr Obama was speaking at an event the White House billed as a "kitchen table and backyard discussion".

The economy is expected to be the single biggest issue for US voters in November's mid-term elections.

Unemployment in the country is lingering at around 10%, and US growth slowed in the second quarter of 2010, sparking fears the country might fall back into recession.

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