National

Jul 21, 2010 2:49 PM by Greg Boyce

Fed Chief says future uncertain, stocks drop

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tells Congress the economic outlook remains "unusually uncertain," and the Fed is ready to take new steps to keep the recovery alive if the economy worsens.

The Fed chief, in prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday, says record low interest rates are still needed to bolster the economy and pledges once again to keep them there for an "extended period." Although Bernanke downplays the odds that the economy will slide back into a "double-dip" recession, he acknowledges that the "economic outlook remains unusually uncertain."

Given that, the Fed is "prepared to take further policy actions as needed" to keep the recovery on track, he says. He doesn't outline specific measures.

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