Bernanke Hints at New Stimulus

The U.S. central bank stands prepared to offer a third round of stimulus should the economy persist in its current direction. "The possibility remains that the recent economic weakness may prove more persistent than expected and that deflationary risks might reemerge, implying a need for additional policy support," Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. Friday’s ominous job report factored into the matter, showing a stall in growth during the last two months. Policymakers stand divided, with some hoping for a third round of quantitative easing, and others fearing inflation risks may cause the bank to withdraw stimulus sooner than expected. Bernanke also provided some positive words, attributing recent weakness to temporary factors such as the impact the Japanese earthquake and tsunami had on global industry.