Bernanke blames Europe and fiscal cliff for stalling recovery

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The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, today (July 17) testified before the US Senate and painted a bleak picture of the country's economy.

Delivering the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in Washington, DC, Bernanke explained that economic activity had "decelerated" in the first half of 2012.

"After rising at an annual rate of 2.5% in the second half of 2011, real gross domestic product increased at a 2% pace in the first

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