WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the three-year U.S. housing bust may be near a bottom and the recession should end this year, as long as there is no relapse of the credit squeeze that has strangled the economy.
In March, Bernanke had pointed to “green shoots” of economic recovery, but in testimony to Congress on Tuesday he was more explicit in saying the pieces were in place for a rebound. Still, he acknowledged that growth would remain subdued and unemployment high even after the recession ends.
He also said “stress tests” to assess the capital needs of the 19 largest U.S. banks will provide an accurate reflection of the firms’ financial positions, and he expected those which need a bigger buffer to raise the money from private sources.
Read the full article by Mark Felsenthal “Bernanke says US recovery ahead, housing near bottom“at Reuters (June 5, 2009).