US Treasury Secretary Lew pushes European countries to support demand even as economy improves

PARIS – U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is reminding European countries that they need to help consumers and companies spend, even though the economy has begun to improve.

Lew didn’t mention Germany in his remarks, but his message seemed particularly aimed at Europe’s largest economy, which has been criticized for being reluctant to support demand. If German consumers and companies are encouraged to buy, some argue, it will help buoy the entire European economy.

At a press conference in Paris on Tuesday, Lew said: “Short-term demand has to be part of the agenda in terms of keeping growth moving in the right direction.” He said he’s making that case in every country where he thinks demand is a problem.

Lew travels next to Berlin and then on to Portugal.