Bernanke is still cautious

Marion Dakers
FEDERAL Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday the US economic recovery was on a solid footing but cautioned it could be years before the jobs lost during the deep recession of 2008-2009 are restored.

While Bernanke said the economy had made an “important transition” to relying less on government support, his emphasis on the struggles of the US jobs market suggested the central bank was in no rush to raise interest rates. “A significant amount of time will be required to restore the nearly 8.5 million jobs that were lost,” he told the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

That view was bolstered by a report from the Fed that said the economy strengthened last month. “Economic activity continued to improve since the last report across all twelve Federal Reserve districts, but many districts described the pace of growth as ‘modest’”, it said in its Beige Book.