Bernanke Economic Outlook Improving

07.21.09 | FL News Team

(Washington, DC) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the outlook for the troubled U.S. economy is improving.  However, Bernanke said unemployment will likely remain high into 2011 and warned that it could further erode consumer confidence.  In a U.S. House hearing, Bernanke cited some signs of stabilization and said the Fed is poised take steps to head off inflation, if necessary, as the economy improves.

Bernanke defended the aggressive actions the government has taken to deal with the long recession.  He said the national economy and financial markets have faced "extraordinary near-term challenges and strong, timely actions to respond to those challenges have been necessary and appropriate."

Bernanke said speculation about a second economic stimulus package is "premature."  President Obama signed a 787-billion dollar stimulus bill in February.  Republicans point to rising unemployment and argue that the stimulus was a failure.

The White House insists that it's still too early to assess the stimulus as much of the money is still being moved out.  Meantime, Bernanke again endorsed proposals to boost regulations on financial markets and warned Congress to start dealing with long term problems related to the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.