Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke left the door open to afresh shot of monetary stimulus should the economic rebound he'spredicting fail to materialize.

The Fed would be “prepared to take additional action, obviously,if conditions warranted,” including the purchase of more Treasurysecurities, Bernanke said yesterday after U.S. central bankers metin Washington. The economy will probably overcome constraints fromelevated energy prices and Japan-related disruptions tomanufacturing, he said. Still, declining home prices, highunemployment and weaknesses in the financial system may restrainthe recovery in the longer term, he said.

Policy makers in a statement yesterday acknowledged the slowdowneven as they agreed to complete $600 billion in bond-buying asscheduled this month in the second round of so-called quantitativeeasing. While the outlook for employment and inflation is betterthan before the latest bond purchases, Bernanke said he's not surehow long the economic headwinds will persist. Stocks fell in NewYork trading.

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