There may be some economic pollyannas starting to make appearances, but don’t count Fed chief Ben Bernanke among them. His exact quote the current state of things? “Far from being out of the woods.” Those aren’t the words of someone who’s feeling real good about the economy right now.
From the second link:
Bernanke said he expects the Fed’s easy money policies and a gathering recovery “will be sufficient to slowly reduce the unemployment rate over the coming year” from its current level of 9.7%. But he admitted that the jobless rate remains a major concern.
“The economy has stabilized and is growing again, although we can hardly be satisfied when 1 out of every 10 U.S. workers is unemployed and family finances remain under great stress,” Bernanke said.
The Fed chief also noted that bank lending continues to be weak and inflation expectations stable. Those observations should allow the central bank to continue to hold short-term interest rates near zero percent for what the Fed has called an “extended period” while keeping prices stable.