Revised government economic data show the recession was deeper than initially thought and the recovery has been weaker than estimated, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben S. Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee Tuesday.
Despite gains in manufacturing and exports, “the recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped,” Bernanke told Congress. “Recent revisions of government economic data show the recession as having been even deeper, and the recovery weaker, than previously estimated; indeed, by the second quarter of this year — the latest quarter for which official estimates are available — aggregate output in the United States still had not returned to the level that it had attained before the crisis.”
Real gross domestic product rose at an average annual rate of less than 1%, he said, attributing part of the weakness to temporary factors. “However, the incoming data suggest that other, more persistent factors also continue to restrain the pace of recovery. Consequently, the Federal Open Market Committee now expects a somewhat slower pace of economic growth over coming quarters than it did at the time of the June meeting, when committee participants most recently submitted economic forecasts.”