Ben: "Yes, but" on economy

Keep your seat belts buckled because the economy is not yet about to pull onto smooth pavement.

Boiled down, that's Fed Chief Ben Bernanke's view of where the U.S. economy stands per the testimony he gave the House Committee on Financial Service today.

On the one hand, Bernanke had good news to share-- stating the "pace of decline" has dropped noticeably.

On the other, he cautioned that the economy was not out of the woods yet given that "financial conditions remain stressed, and many households and businesses are finding credit difficult to obtain."


Fed Chief Ben Bernanke qualifies progress economy has made... so far.

While Bernanke said "aggressive policy actions taken around the world last fall may well have averted the collapse of the global financial system... the financial shocks that hit the global economy in September and October were the worst since the 1930s, and they helped push the global economy into the deepest recession since World War II.

"The U.S. economy contracted sharply in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year," he continued. "More recently, the pace of decline appears to have slowed significantly, and final demand and production have shown tentative signs of stabilization. The labor market, however, has continued to weaken. Consumer price inflation, which fell to low levels late last year, remained subdued in the first six months of 2009."