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Bernanke predicts ongoing economic recovery

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress recently saying that the nation’s economy will continue to recover at a moderate pace in coming quarters, bolstered by a return of business and consumer spending.

Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that private demand would be sufficient to replace the diminishing government stimulus and inventory adjustment that have spurred growth in the past six months.

"On balance, the incoming data suggest that growth in private final demand will be sufficient to promote a moderate economic recovery in coming quarters," Bernanke said.

Bernanke’s testimony was bolstered by the news that U.S. retail sales grew 1.6 percent in March. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that sales soared to $363.2 billion – the fifth gain in six months.

Sparked by strong sales in automobiles, building materials and clothes, the nation’s retail sales are now 7.6 percent higher than they were one year ago, prompting economists at Barclays Capital to declare "the consumer is back."

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