Obama to name new economic team Friday

President Barack Obama will announce on Friday whom he has picked to replace Larry Summers as his top economic adviser, with Gene Sperling seen as the front runner to take this influential White House role.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs made clear during a media briefing on Wednesday the president would name his pick to lead the National Economic Council during remarks Obama will make after the release of November’s unemployment report.

Gibbs declined to comment on whether Sperling, a veteran of the 1990s Clinton White House who is now a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, would get the top NEC job, which Summers vacated at the end of last year.

The NEC coordinates economic policy throughout the administration and has great influence within the White House.

Gibbs initially made a vague statement during a regular press briefing that the president would announce changes in his economic team when he visits a factory on Friday.

But when pressed on whether this would include the NEC appointment, he answered “yes, Friday”.