Bernanke: Economic Growth Is Uneven, Modest

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On Capitol Hill Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke mentioned some positive developments on the economic front — including a decline in the jobless rate. But he added long-term unemployment is still a big concern.


NPR's business news starts with a prognosis from Ben Bernanke.


INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is back on Capitol Hill today, for a second day of testimony. He's speaking to Senators one day after he told House members that the economic recovery is, quote, "uneven and modest." He showed no sign of what his predecessor once called irrational exuberance.

Despite recent positive signs, the Central Bank chief says he remains concerned about long-term unemployment. He's cited continuing layoffs by state and local governments, for example. Given the continuing weaknesses in the economy, Bernanke told lawmakers that interest rates are likely to remain low, but he also said the Fed does not expect the recession to permanently damage the economy's ability to grow.

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