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Fed sees sluggish US recovery this year

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Fed sees sluggish US recovery this year

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US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke – sounding more confident than he has of late – has told the Congressional Joint Economic Committee that a recovery is expected later this year though it will be gradual and unemployment will remain high for a while.

And he said there is a price to pay: “In the longer term, I think it’s very important that Congress makes sure that the deficits are not excessively large. The main thing is that you’d be consistent: If you want to increase spending, then you have to be willing to accept tax increases.” As Bernanke spoke, new figures were released showing that the services sector in the US contracted less severely in April, that is another sign the economic slump in the world’s largest economy may be bottoming out. Services account for four fifths of US economic activity.