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Bernanke hopeful U.S. economy to stabilise later in '09

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday he expected continued weakness in the U.S. labour market in the first quarter of 2009 but was hopeful the economy would show signs of stabilisation later in the year.

“I would expect to see continued weakness in the first quarter...I am hopeful that later in 2009, depending on factors, particularly including financial and credit markets, we should begin to see some stabilisation in the economy,” he said.

“It takes a while though for labour markets to recover,” he added in response to a question at a conference at the London School of Economics.

Reporting by Mike Peacock and Swaha Pattanaik

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