President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the United States was clearing away the “wreckage” of recession, but the economic system had to be reformed.

“We are off to a good start. But it is just a start,” Obama told a White House news conference as he assessed his first 100 days in office. “I am pleased with our progress, but I am not satisfied.”

“But even as we clear away the wreckage of this recession, I have also said that we cannot go back to an economy that is built on a pile of sand,” the president said.

U.S. Trade Department said the economy contracted at a 6.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, which was a steeper decline than expected 5 percent.

On Wednesday the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress approved a $3.4 trillion compromise budget plan for the 2010 fiscal year, which was a major victory for Obama on his 100th day in office.

“We have to lay a new foundation for growth, a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st century and that''s exactly what this budget begins to do,” the president said.

“We have plenty of work left to do. It is work that will take time. It will take effort. But the United States of America will see a better day. We will rebuild a stronger nation,” said Obama who took office in January.