Thursday, June 7 2012, 12:52 PM MDT
Bernanke Addresses Congress On Economy
(KUTV) Ben Bernanke gave lawmakers his take on the sluggish economy, and advice for what can be done to help the recovery stay on track.
“Economic growth appears poised to continue at a moderate pace over coming quarters,” Bernanke said.
The Chairman of the Federal Reserve delivered his forecast to the Joint Economic Committee on Thursday.
His appearance comes after weeks of lackluster news about the economy and unemployment - signs that the recovery may be stalling. Congress also wants to know how Europe's troubles will affect the US, and whether the fed has any tricks to make things better.
“We're going to have to make some difficult assessments about how effective they would be and whether there are costs and risks associated with those steps that might outweigh the benefits,” Bernanke said.
Before Bernanke arrived on Capitol Hill, the government released the latest snapshot of the labor market. It showed the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week. That suggests at least some modest job growth after three months of weak hiring.
Overall, the economy grew at a pace of just 1.9% in the first quarter. In the past, the fed has injected cash into the financial markets and lowered interest rates to try and stimulate growth.
“We have a number of options, but at this point I really can't say anything is off the table,” said Bernanke.
Wall Street is listening closely. The stock market opened with an optimistic rally - investors hoping the fed will use its weapons to protect the US economy.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)