Ben Bernanke isn’t worried about a double-dip recession, despite an economy he acknowledged as unexpectedly troubled this year, reports MarketWatch. “I expect hiring to pick up from last month’s pace as growth strengthens in the second half of the year,” the Fed chairman told a meeting of international bankers in Atlanta. He said that high commodity prices weren’t the Fed’s fault, and that Japan’s earthquake was the cause of poor economic numbers since April. Its effects will wear off in the next few months, he said, helped by the possibility of lower gas prices.
But “until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said, adding that inflation “should moderate” given stable expectations and commodity prices. (The market dipped after his speech, apparently because Bernanke signaled no further Fed action.) Earlier, at a White House press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama sounded a similar theme: “I'm not concerned about a double-dip recession," he said, according to Fox News. "I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we're on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen.”