Excerpt of President Reagan's opening statement at his news conference last night:

. . . Nearly a year ago tonight, I told the American people that we were making headway against the crisis we inherited--double-digit inflation, record interest rates and soaring taxes were all coming down.

Well, tonight we can be pleased that our economy is strong and getting stronger.

We still have a long way to go but good news on personal income, real earnings, factory orders, industrial production, housing starts, auto and retail sales are solid signs of hope.

And I have one other important piece of good news. I'm pleased to announce tonight that we are revising upward our projection of this year's economic growth from 4.7 to 5.5 percent. America's economy is beginning to sparkle.

Sustaining strong growth and keeping inflation and interest rates down require bipartisan cooperation from the Congress. We must understand that undisciplined spending and tax increases threaten the recovery.

By trying to increase taxes permanently with their tax cap, the liberals in the Congress have renounced John F. Kennedy's criteria for growth and opportunity--meaningful tax rate reductions for every working American.

Their tax cap must not and will not become law because fairness is not slapping tax increases on 2.4 million small businesses, 350,000 family farms and millions of middle-income married couples who file joint returns.

Fairness is not appealing to envy, pitting group against group. And fairness is not penalizing the initiative, hard work, savings, risk-taking and investment that we need to create more jobs.

True fairness means honoring our word. It means encouraging and rewarding every citizen who strives to excel and help make America great again.

So, in three days, the American people will begin receiving the full and final 10 percent of their tax cut. This will be followed by indexing in 1985 . . . .