18 Jul 2012

US economy weakened significantly recently - Bernanke

12:34 pm on 18 July 2012

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says the American economy has weakened significantly in recent months.

Mr Bernanke told a Congressional panel on Tuesday that growth slowed to 1.9% in the first three months of the year and was likely to be even weaker in the second quarter.

He said America's recovery could slow further if Europe's debt crisis worsened and confirmed that the fed's monetary policy-setting committee was "prepared to take further action as appropriate".

Mr Bernanke also talked about the risk to the US economy of the eurozone debt crisis.

He said the fed is prepared to take action if there is no improvement in the labour market.

But Mr Bernanke offered no clues on whether the fed is any closer on injecting more money into the economy.