Additional policy easing may be needed, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben S. Bernanke told Congress yesterday, and the Federal Open Market Committee will “stand ready to take substantive additional action as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks.”

But given the changing conditions of an economy, Bernanke said: “The FOMC must remain exceptionally alert and flexible, prepared to act in a decisive and timely manner and, in particular, to counter any adverse dynamics that might threaten economic or financial stability.”

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