General Electric Co Chief Jeffrey Immelt: US economy needs more confidence, drive

The General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt says US economy needs more confidence. The head of the largest US business and a top adviser to the Obama administration on jobs and the economy said he believed the nation was not trying hard enough to compete with global rivals including China.

"This focus that globalization brings is good for us ... If I thought we'd tried our best as a country and still had the kind of trade deficits we have today, I'd be depressed," Immelt told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in New York on Monday.

"We're not trying that hard," he added. "We haven't really tried as hard as we can to compete, educate, and sell our products around the world and I think we can do better."

Obama and General Electric Co Chief Jeffrey Immelt

The nation's economic malaise, now in its third year, has left many average Americans angry and frustrated with the system, Immelt acknowledged, saying that people in power need to empathize with their problems.

Immelt said "unemployment is 9.1 percent. Underemployment is much higher than that, particularly among young people that don't have a college degree". "It is natural to assume that people are angry and I think we have to be empathetic and understand that people are not feeling great."

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