US President Barack Obama on Saturday stressed the importance of tax benefits offered by his 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan that was enacted last year in the hope of boosting the US economy.

Administration officials say one-third of the stimulus package, known as the Recovery Act, is made up of tax cuts that have already provided more than 160 billion dollars in relief for families and businesses.

"It's been a tough couple years for America," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "But the economy is growing again. Companies are beginning to hire again. We are rewarding work and helping more of our people reach for the American Dream again."

He pointed out that Americans who had already filed their taxes have discovered that the average refund was up nearly 10 percent this year - to an all-time high of about 3,000 dollars and it was due in large part to the Recovery Act.

People who bought a home for the first time last year are eligible for a tax credit of up to 8,000 dollars. And those who bought a new car last year could deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid on that purchase, the president said.

In addition, home owners who invested in making their homes more energy-efficient were eligible for up to 1,500 dollars in new tax credits.

"If there is one thing of which the people of this great country have convinced me, it's that the United States of America will recover, stronger than before," Obama said.

This video was published by the White House on Saturday, April 10, 2010.

With AFP.