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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bernanke: More Rate Cuts Likely

by Calculated Risk on 2/14/2008 10:36:00 AM

From the WSJ: Bernanke Signals More Rate Cuts Amid Continued Downside Risks

"At present, my baseline outlook involves a period of sluggish growth, followed by a somewhat stronger pace of growth starting later this year as the effects of monetary and fiscal stimulus begin to be felt," Mr. Bernanke said in prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee.

Mr. Bernanke was testifying along with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox. Mr. Paulson Paulson told Senators that he expects the economy to stay in positive territory, while Mr. Cox talked about enforcement efforts underway.

But while he envisions "an improving picture" on the economy, Mr. Bernanke cautioned that "downside risks to growth remain, including the possibilities that the housing market or the labor market may deteriorate to an extent beyond that currently anticipated, or that credit conditions may tighten substantially further."

The Federal Open Market Committee, he said, "will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks." He also signaled that future policy moves will depend on the Fed's medium-term forecast for growth and inflation "as well as the risks to that forecast," since policy works with a lag.
Here is Bernanke's testimony.