Bernanke Says Credit Still ‘Too Tight’ for Housing, Economy

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said credit is “too tight” for the U.S. housing market, impeding economic growth.

“Tight credit remains a problem for our economy as well as for the construction industry,” the Fed chairman said in response to an audience question after a speech today to the National Association of Home Builders in Orlando, Florida.

The Fed chairman said some tightening was to be expected in the aftermath of the U.S. financial crisis, which sent the economy into an 18-month recession from December 2007 to June 2009, the worst since the Great Depression.

“The pendulum has probably swung too far in the other direction,” he said. “Conditions are still too tight for the health of both the financial system, for the construction industry and for our economy.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Craig Torres in Washington at ctorres3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net