The economy will continue growing at a moderate pace, according to an assessment by the American Bankers Association. But the group says a lack of agreement on the deficit by Congress creates a lot of uncertainty. ABA Economic Advisory Committee Chair George Mokrzan also discussed unemployment, lending and the housing market.
On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke called on Congress to keep the economy from slipping back into a recession by not allowing tax cuts to expire in January while also taking decisive action to rein in the budget deficit.
Later in the day, however, economists blamed Mr. Bernanke for dampening a stock rally triggered by China's announced plans to cut interest rates and boost international sales.
Mr. Bernanke had refused to say what the Federal Reserve would do regarding quantitative easing; that is, whether or not it would put money into the economy by purchasing government bonds, a move that many on Wall Street had been anxiously waiting for.
Thursday also saw dismal job numbers, with unemployment increasing to 8.2% and the number of new jobs dropping to the lowest levels of the year.