Obama to make statement on economy, euro crisis

President Barack Obama will make a statement at 1415 GMT on Friday on the state of the US economy and how it is being impacted by the crisis in Europe, the White House said.

Facing a tough reelection battle in November, the Obama campaign fears contagion and the eurozone meltdown could shift the balance in favor of the president's Republican rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The White House said Obama would deliver a statement that urges Congress to pass a string of bills designed to help grow the economy and create more jobs.

"He will address the state of the economy, including the situation in Europe, which continues to pose headwinds to our recovery here at home," a scheduling statement said.

A lingering eurozone debt crisis has defied desperate attempts to contain contagion in Greece, Ireland and Portugal and financial markets are now speculating on a vast European bailout for Spain's distressed banks.

Obama's remarks will come after the US unemployment rate rose in May for the first time in almost a year, spelling more trouble for his reelection bid.

The data came just five months ahead of the November 6 presidential election amid a campaign dominated by concerns about the slow, fragile recovery.

The world's largest economy slowed from an annual growth rate of 3.0 percent in the final quarter of 2011 to 1.9 percent in the first quarter, too weak a pace to dent unemployment.

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