'Main Street' Not Been Made Whole Yet, Treasury Chief Says

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/ Source: CNBC.com

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNBC on Wednesday that the U.S. is leading the global economic recovery, despite having "a lot of work to do" by our own country's standards.

"If you go to Main Street America and ask people if they've been made whole from the financial crisis, I doubt a lot of people would tell you they've been made whole," Lew said on "Squawk Box."

Two days before the world's financial elite gathers in Washington for an International Monetary Fund meeting, Lew said kick-starting economic growth remains his top priority in his dealings with foreign finance ministers. It's also a priority on the home front, he added, arguing that job training and infrastructure programs will stimulate demand.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNBC that he doubts a lot of Americans would say they've been made whole from the financial crisis.PAULO WHITAKER / Reuters

Lew said he expects infrastructure projects, such as a new federal highway bill, to gain bipartisan support even in a midterm election year.

"We're doing our part," Lew said. "We made tough decisions six years ago, and we stuck with them. We have our economy growing. We reformed our financial system. We have our fiscal house in a much better place."

Lew said the U.S. economy has made solid progress since the depths of the Great Recession, but some industries still lag. He said sectors such as home construction usually contribute to economic recovery, but they have stumbled in recent years. Now they have the potential to give the economy a much-needed boost, he said.

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