Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression was probably over, but the recovery would be slow and take time to create new jobs.
Even though from a technical perspective the recession is very likely over at this point, it's still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time, Bernanke told a questioner after giving a speech to a Brookings Institution conference.
The general view of most forecasters is that that pace of growth in 2010 will be moderate, less than you might expect given the depth of the recession because of ongoing headwinds, he said, warning that this would delay job creation.
U.S. unemployment has soared to 9.7 percent since the recession began in December 2007, and is forecast to push to 10 percent in the months ahead.
Bernanke cautioned that growth next year would probably be not much faster than the economy's so-called long-run potential rate, which meant that it would be slow to take up slack and pare back the level of unemployment.
Therefore the unemployment rate will tend to come down quite slowly, Bernanke said.
(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)