Bernanke: Economy 'Is Close to Faltering'

From the Associated Press:



Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the economic recovery “is close to faltering” and the central bank is prepared to take further steps to support it.

The economy is growing more slowly than the Federal Reserve had expected, Bernanke said Tuesday before the congressional Joint Economic Committee. He said the biggest factor depressing consumer confidence is poor job growth.

“We need to make sure that the recovery continues and doesn’t drop back and that the unemployment rate continues to fall downward,” Bernanke said.

Stocks came off their morning lows after Bernanke inferred that the Fed could adopt additional stimulus measures in the coming months. The Dow Jones industrial average had fallen more than 200 points but recovered most of those losses to be down only 64 points at midday.

Bernanke offered his grim assessment after the economy barely grew in the first half of the year and it created no net jobs in August. Consumer confidence fell this summer to the lowest point since the recession. Europe’s debt crisis has also intensified.

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