Economic outlook: A mixed bag

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a mixed outlook for the economy in a speech today before the House Committee on the Budget. He said that although economic recovery has continued at a moderate pace, "significant restraints on the pace of the recovery remain." Those restraints include continued strains on the housing market and cuts in employment and construction due to pressures on state and local budgets. Although he noted the slight uptick in employment in May, Bernanke said "a significant amount of time will be required" to restore jobs back to pre-2008 levels.

Some of Bernanke's statements echo the thoughts of the analysts we spoke to for our Mid-Year Economic Outlook for the July issue of Futures. Our analysts said jobs recovery would be steady, although rather slow, and offered predictions for the interest rate outlook through the rest of the year. Find out when they expect the Fed to raise interest rates, or whether they think the market will push rates up on its own, in the July issue of Futures, online June 25. And let us know what you think of the likelihood of a recovery by commenting below.

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