WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s prepared semi-annual monetary policy testimony makes no bones about the economy worsening, saying the “situation has become distinctly less favorable” since summer, blaming “the continuing contraction of the U.S. housing market” and makes clear he favors Fed easing as the remedy.

Bernanke says “downside risks to growth remain” and the Fed “will act in a timely manner as needed” but fails to specify where that will lead.

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