Jan 20, 9:03 PM EST

Obama: 'Verdict clear' that economic policies helped stimulate economic recovery

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says a growing economy, shrinking deficits and booming energy production have raised the U.S. out of the recession. He is taking credit for the recovery and says: "The verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works."

Obama says the economy's upward trajectory should not only help a few do well but should generate rising incomes for everyone who makes an effort.

He says, "We need to set our sights higher than just making sure government doesn't halt the progress we're making."

The recession technically ended in June 2009, but the ensuing recovery sputtered. Only now is public opinion beginning to acknowledge improvements.

Obama's speech comes amid numerous signs that the economic recovery is taking hold, including 5.6 percent unemployment, cheap gas and greater consumer confidence.

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