Bernanke: Obama Stimulus Would Lift Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is offering some encouraging words about the stimulus package being crafted by President-elect Barack Obama and Congress.

In a speech to the London School of Economics, Bernanke says the package could provide a "significant boost" to the sinking U.S. economy. But he also warns that such a recovery won't last unless other steps are taken to stabilize the shaky financial system.

This marks the first time the Fed chief has spoken about the roughly $800 billion recovery plan now being worked on by Obama, who takes office next week. Obama envisions a blend of tax cuts and increased government spending, including spending on big public works projects, to make up the stimulus plan.

Bernanke didn't weigh in on the details of the evolving package. He made clear that such a recovery plan is needed as part of a broader, multi-pronged government response to combat the worst financial crisis to hit the U.S. and the global economy since the 1930s.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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