Bernanke: Lasting rise in oil prices pose a danger - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Bernanke: Lasting rise in oil prices pose a danger

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says a prolonged rise in oil prices would pose a danger to the economy. But he says the more likely outcome is a temporary and modest increase in consumer prices -- not runaway inflation.

Bernanke, in prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, is more confident that economic growth will increase this year. But he warns it won't be strong enough to quickly lower unemployment, now at 9 percent. He cites other risks to the economy, including rising prices for oil, gasoline, food and other commodities, and further weakness in home prices. Those risks could prompt Americans to spend less.

The Fed chief says the economy still needs the support of its $600 billion bond-purchase program.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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