One of President Bush's top economic advisers said Sunday that parts of the country probably already are experiencing a recession and it could take a few months before the clogged credit system starts working again.
Ed Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, noted that national unemployment stands at 6.1 percent. He said some parts of the country, such as California, have even higher rates.
"We are seeing what I think anyone would characterize as a recession in certain parts of the country," Lazear said.
The White House and Congress hope a $700-billion rescue plan will inject cash and confidence into the lending industry and recharge the economy. Bush repeatedly has told the nation that it will take awhile for credit lines to thaw.
Lazear said it would take "a few months before we really see a significant impact."
"But we've seen impacts already," he said. "What we're seeing is that banks are now willing to lend to one another. That's a huge plus for the economy because the big problem has been that banks have been unwilling to trust one another."