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A statistical recovery - or a genuine one?

Business Times - 25 Aug 2009


A statistical recovery - or a genuine one?

The upbeat mood of central bankers and Wall St investors isn't trickling down to Main Street

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

US FEDERAL Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and other central bankers meeting at the annual Federal Reserve symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week seemed to be exuding a sense of optimism about the condition of the American and global economy (see opposite page).

Indeed, Mr Bernanke insisted in a speech that the American economy was starting to emerge from recession and aggressive intervention by Washington was working.

'After contracting sharply over the past year, economic activity appears to be levelling out both in the United States and abroad, and the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good,' he said. But he did temper that upbeat attitude by cautioning businesses and consumers that problems would continue to persist in both the credit and job …