“Significant retraction” in first half of ’09

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is testifying before the Senate Banking Committee today, and says the Federal Open Market Committee expects the economy to undergo a significant retraction in the first half of 2009, followed by a gradual resumption of growth in the second half.

The FOMC expects real GDP to experience a decline of 1/2 percent to 1 1/4 percent over the four quarters of 2009. For the full text of Bernanke’s testimony, click here.