WASHINGTON (AFP) — Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday the central bank is not at the moment predicting a recession in the United States, but sees slow growth ahead.
"The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession," Bernanke said in response to a question after a speech in Washington.
"We are forecasting slow growth, but ... as I mentioned today, there are downside risks and therefore it's very important for us to stand ready, as I mentioned, to take substantive action to address those risks and provide some insurance ... against those negative outcomes."
Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs became the latest Wall Street firm to say the US economy is either in a recession or approaching one. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley also have forecast 2008 recessions.
In his speech, Bernanke said more US interest rate cuts may be needed to shore up economic growth in the face of a protracted housing slump and financial market angst.
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