Bernanke says risk of double dip "not negligible"

WASHINGTON, April 14 Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:23pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 14 (Reuters) - The risk of the United States slipping back into recession is "not negligible" but it has diminished in recent months, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.

The U.S. economy resumed growth in the third quarter of 2009, and both retail sales and recent jobs data have suggested improvement in consumer demand and the labor market.

"There's a pretty broad view that we're seeing some building momentum in final demand," Bernanke said during testimony in Congress.

"Consumer spending looks to be picking up. At least equipment and software investment looks healthy, the broader global economy is stronger which implies more exports."

"So, it looks like we're on a path to moderate recovery and that the risk of a double-dip, while certainly not negligible, is certainly less than it was a few months ago. That being said there are any number of possible things that could derail it." (Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Emily Kaiser; Writing by Patrick Graham; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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