Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress that the economy should pull out of recession by the end of the year.
In an appearance before the Joint Economic Committee, Bernanke says the Fed expects "economic activity to bottom out, then to turn up later this year." He says recent data suggest the recession is easing and consumer spending should be lifted by the tax cuts in President Barack Obama's stimulus package
But the Fed chief also warns not to expect a boom. He says once a recovery is under way, economic activity is likely to remain subpar, leading businesses to be cautious about hiring.
The Fed chair says that means the nation's unemployment rate will continue to rise and "sizable job losses" should be expected in the coming months. He says business investment remains "extremely weak," and conditions in the commercial real estate market are "poor."