In a speech in South Carolina today, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave another subdued forecast for the economy. He said that while "the financial crisis appears mostly behind us...we still have a considerable way to go to achieve a full recovery in our economy" due to persistent unemployment, foreclosure and lost savings for many Americans.
Bernanke cited continued weakness in the housing market as a restraint on recovery, and said "significant time" would be required to restore jobs lost in 2008 and 2009. (In our mid-year economic outloook, some analysts said it could take until 2015 for jobs to bounce back to pre-2008 levels.)
“Financial conditions, though much improved since the depth of the financial crisis, have become somewhat less supportive of economic growth in recent months,” Bernanke said.
There was bad news for the U.S. dollar today as well, as the dollar dropped further on positive economic data from China. Equities, however, shot up after the Institute for Supply Management survey beat expectations.