WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the U.S. economy's slow recovery from the Great Recession has been subpar for several reasons, including the extensive damage from the housing bust and tight budgets at all levels of government.
But he also blamed the anemic pace of the recovery on "some bad luck," saying Europe's debt troubles slowed the global economy at a critical time.
"Given all the things we have faced, it is not shocking that the recovery has been tepid," he said during a news conference after the Fed's two-day policy meeting.
He said the United States has still done better than many other countries.
Bernanke made the comments after the Fed announced it would begin to reduce its bond purchases by $10 billion in January, signaling a stronger economy.