In an interview with CNBC, Edward Lazear, economic adviser to the president, says the U.S. has potential for a strong rebound in 2009 and that economic weakness could last just a few months.

Earlier on Thursday, the government reported Q3 GDP in the United States fell an annualized 0.3%. In Q2, GDP rose 2.8%.

The economy has been hit by a series of shocks in 2008, said Lazear, who believes the Boeing strike and hurricanes shaved around one point off GDP. Without these two events, growth would have been positive this morning, he explained.

He also said the recent measures taken by the government and the Fed will help promote an improvement in economic conditions.

Lazear says the most concerning point of this morning's GDP report is a decline in consumption, which fell 3.1% despite expectations for a 2.4% fall. Nevertheless, he remains upbeat about the recent rate cuts, falling gas prices and the thawing of credit markets, all of which are expected to reverse consumer sentiment.

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Sarah Sussman
©CEP News Ltd. 2008