Bernanke: recession over at last

FEDERAL Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke last night said that the worst US recession since the Great Depression was probably over &ndash; but he warned that the recovery would be slow and painful.<br /><br />In declaring the recession over, Bernanke went slightly beyond the Fed&rsquo;s most recent assessment that the economy was levelling off and that indications on growth had improved.<br /><br />&ldquo;Even though from a technical perspective the recession is very likely over at this point, it&rsquo;s still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time,&rdquo; Bernanke said.<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;The general view of most forecasters is that pace of growth in 2010 will be moderate, less than you might expect given the depth of the recession because of ongoing headwinds.&rdquo;<br /><br />And he warned that unemployment would top 10 per cent by the end of the year, nearing its post-World War Two high of 10.8 per cent at the end of 1982.<br /><br />&ldquo;Unfortunately, unemployment will be slow to come down. It will come down but it may take some time,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Obviously, that&rsquo;s a very serious concern.&rdquo;