[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/14/art.cnn.bernake.jpg caption= "Bernanke said he still anticipates that the economy will start its recovery later this year, but cautioned that 'recovery will only gradually gain momentum.'"]
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Data suggest the economic contraction may be slowing, but the economy is hardly out of the woods, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers on Wednesday.
"A number of factors are likely to continue to weigh on consumer spending, among them the weak labor market, the declines in equity and housing wealth that households have experienced over the past two years, and still-tight credit conditions," Bernanke said.
Bernanke said he still anticipates that the economy will start its recovery later this year, but cautioned that "recovery will only gradually gain momentum and that economic slack will diminish slowly. In particular, businesses are likely to be cautious about hiring and the unemployment rate is likely to rise for a time, even after economic growth resumes."
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Bush has grudgingly allowed General Motors and Chrysler to drive away with the last few billion bucks in Treasury's TARP till, which boasted $350 billion a mere 77 days ago.
How did it all slip away so fast?
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/06/art.caphillnew1106.gi.jpg caption="Old bills may get new life on Capitol Hill now that Democrats have increased their congressional muscle and taken control of the White House."]
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Spend tens if not hundreds of billions to boost the economy. Pass a law giving homeowners more leverage over lenders. Do more to address the growing ranks of unemployed workers.
There's a new day for economic policy in Washington.
The Democrats not only took back the White House - they gained a stronger hand in both chambers of Congress. As a result, in the 10 weeks before President-elect Barack Obama takes office and the months that follow, legislative leaders will likely revive a series of measures that failed to gain traction in the past year.
At the top of the agenda: stimulating the flagging economy.