Removing monetary policy accommodation now would not create conditions that would sustain higher interest rates and could halt the economic recovery, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told the Congressional Joint Economic Committee Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, withdrawing policy accommodation at this juncture would be highly unlikely to produce such conditions," Bernanke said, according to prepared text of his remarks, released by the Fed. "A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further."

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