Fed Chairman Says Housing is Still a Concern, Suggests Rate Cut Is Coming

Washington, D.C.–Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that preventing an economic decline is the Fed’s main concern and is overshadowing inflation fears, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington, D.C., Bernanke implied another rate reduction may happen in March. Analysts have speculated the cut could be half a percentage point, according to the Tribune.The Fed chairman said that “the economic situation has become distinctly less favorable” since last summer and that “the housing market is expected to continue to weigh on economic activity in coming quarters.”He also suggested Congress may need to deal more firmly with the housing sector decline with direct and costly measures. In addition, Bernanke acknowledged that the Fed had addressed the credit crunch that began reducing economic growth in fall too slowly.