Fed Chairman Tells Of Worsened Outlook

CAPITOL HILL (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the economic outlook has worsened. Speaking to the Senate Banking Committee, he signals that the central bank is poised to continue lowering interest rates.

Bernanke says the combined impacts of the housing and credit crises have strained the economy.

He says hiring has slowed and people are likely to tighten their belts further because of high energy prices and falling home values.

Bernanke pledged that the Fed “will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks,” indicating additional rate cuts are likely.