Fed Chair Warns Congress of Economic Slowdown, Continuing Mortgage Crisis

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke isn’t feeling too optimistic about the economy these days, according to NPR. He warned Congress today of an coming economic slowdown tied to the subprime meltdown, the surge in energy prices, and oh yeah, did we mention the subprime meltdown?

“Delinquencies on these mortgages are likely to rise further in coming quarters as a sizable number of recent-vintage subprime loans experience their first interest rate resets,” Bernanke testified.

“Weakness in the housing market will keep construction in a down trend,” he said.

He also had some advice for those of you in mortgage meltdown land: “Get in touch with your lender because experience shows the earlier you do so you’ll be able to resolve the matter.”

Retailers should worry, too: “Indicators of overall consumer sentiment suggested that household spending would grow more slowly, a reading consistent with the expected effects of higher energy prices, tighter credit and continuing weakness in housing,” Bernanke said.

He’s a cheerful guy, isn’t he? We like that about him. Maybe he didn’t hear that everything is going to be ok because broke people shop at Walmart.

Fed Chair Warns Congress of Economic Slowdown [NPR]