WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.
Check out some ofour mostread stories from 2013:
#shortyellows:Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Terrorism Warning:Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights
Kittens shot:Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Courtroom apology:Woman apologizes for flipping off judge
Controversial Club:College student organizes "White Student Union"
Warning Shot Wife:Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband
Science Arrest:Teen girl arrested over science project explosion
Wait, WHAT??Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth:Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting:Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners:Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected:Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole:Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders:Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections:Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here