Bernanke: Fed is not forecasting a recession

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday told lawmakers that even though the U.S. economy is facing a difficult combination of circumstances, the Fed is not forecasting a recession.

“The U.S. economy remains extraordinarily resilient,” the U.S. central bank chief said in answering questions after testifying before the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

Bernanke added that growth will be worse this year. “We currently see the economy as continuing to grow, but growing at a relatively slow pace, particularly in the first half of this year,” he said. “Recent indications suggest, though, that the economy has softened somewhat and that the growth prospects for 2008 are certainly below that of last year.”

Reporting By Joanne Morrison; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio