FINANCIAL Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-keun yesterday admitted the Government was suffering 'mid-term doldrums', with the fruits of economic recovery yet to be felt by ordinary people. Wrapping up a swing down the east coast of the United States, Mr Tsang faced journalists' questions about his thoughts on Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's leadership. 'We are in the mid-term doldrums, which happens to any leaders in the world today, especially set against the bitter experience of a financial crisis where the wealth of the recovery has not yet filtered down to the man in the street,' he said. 'I think one has to be fair to what Mr Tung has done in Hong Kong . . . to be able to deliver to Hong Kong 'one country, two systems' while exercising autonomy with all the trust that he has from Beijing - and doing so without any interference from Beijing. 'It would be difficult for me to find anyone who can have that sort of trust in Hong Kong and is also a Hong Kong person.' Mr Tsang said he wanted people to show more understanding towards Mr Tung and the Government. Noting that interest rates remained high and prices and employment were still catching up with the recovery, he urged patience. 'We cannot work miracles. We need to be more patient . . . we all need to work together,' he said. While warning that current double-digit growth rates could not be sustained, Mr Tsang has talked up the strength of the recovery in Hong Kong and the wider region to academics, ratings agencies, business leaders and government officials in New York, Boston and Washington. After meeting Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, Mr Tsang said he was confident about the fundamental strength of the American economy, despite 'mixed signals' that its record-shattering run of growth could be ending.