The US economy is no longer in "free-fall" but is not out of the woods yet, White House budget overseer Peter Orszag said Sunday.

"I think what happened is the free-fall in the economy seems to have stopped," Orszag, director of President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, told CNN.

"I guess the analogy (is) there are some glimmers of sun shining through the trees, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We do have more work ahead," he added.

Orszag said more time was needed for Obama’s 787-billion-dollar stimulus package, approved by Congress in February, to feed into the world’s largest economy.

And despite some grounds for hope, he said, long-term changes remained a priority — especially Obama’s drive to bring about universal health care to rein in exploding expenses.

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