UPDATE 2-US expects accelerating job creation-econ adviser

* March optimism no reason for complacency- Summers

* Romer says economy still faces headwinds

* US will engage China on currency claim this spring

(recasts, adds quotes)

By John Crawley and Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON, April 4 (BestGrowthStock) – The Obama administration
expects U.S. job creation to quicken but economic recovery has
a long way to go despite improved trends, White House officials
said on Sunday.

“We’re in a very different place than we were a year ago,”
White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers told ABC’s “This
Week.” “A year ago, we were losing 600,000 jobs a month. Now
the process of job creation has started. We expect that it will
accelerate.”

The comments by Summers and similar remarks from fellow
adviser Christina Romer on another network followed Friday’s
Labor Department report that showed the economy created jobs in
March at the fastest clip in three years. But the addition of
162,000 jobs was tempered by a stubborn unemployment rate that
remained at a 9.7 percent.

Summers, while noting some large businesses were beginning
to hire again and negative trends were turning around, said
monthly jobless rates can fluctuate and Friday’s report was no
reason to become complacent.

Romer added on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that projected
economic growth of 3 percent this year is not enough to create
a lot of jobs.

“We still face a lot of headwinds,” Romer said.

The pair pushed for congressional approval of tax credits
and other incentives for small businesses to expand and spur
new hiring.

Summers additionally said a more than 10 percent jump in
income tax refunds this spring should trigger spending and
boost employment.

REPUBLICANS TAKE EXCEPTION

Senate Republicans, however, took issue with the
administration’s analysis of the jobs picture and recommended
broader tax relief with less government intervention.

“Washington should be making it easier to hire and to
expand, rather than making it more expensive to grow the
workforce or their employees’ paychecks,” Senate Republican
leader Mitch McConnell’s office said in a statement.

Increasing exports is the best way to bring back lost U.S.
manufacturing jobs, Summers told CNN in a separate interview,
adding that commercial practices in a number of countries,
including China, must be addressed to achieve this.

Neither Romer nor Summers, however, would publicly back
claims by some lawmakers that China manipulates its currency at
the expense of U.S. jobs.

Currency issues gained prominence over the weekend in
Washington when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he
would delay a report due April 15 on the currency question.

Some U.S. lawmakers claim China deliberately keeps the
value of the yuan low against the dollar as an effective
subsidy. They say China is giving its exporters a price
advantage and ballooning America’s trade deficit.

Summers said “no one can be satisfied where we are” on the
trade imbalance, but that the decision to delay the report was
not calculated to engage China on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and
other delicate issues.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is due in Washington on April
12 for a nuclear security summit and analysts said it could
have been seen as an insult if Washington had labeled China a
currency manipulator just days after Hu’s visit.

Summers said economic issues are key to U.S. diplomacy and
the administration prefers to take advantage of upcoming
high-level US/China economic meetings in Beijing as well as G20
meetings later this spring to address the currency issue.

“Those are opportunities to engage with China, to engage
with other countries that have large trade surpluses, other
countries who think they can continue to rely on the United
States as an importer of last resort,” Summers said.

Romer said the issue would be “high on the agenda” but that
ultimately the yuan “needs to be more influenced by market
forces.”

The U.S. strategy is to build momentum to cast the matter
as one of persuading China to accept greater responsibility as
a global trade partner and boost American exports.

Money

(Reporting by John Crawley and Andy Sullivan; editing by
Todd Eastham and Vicki Allen)

UPDATE 2-US expects accelerating job creation-econ adviser