Bernanke: Crisis may be 'abating'

Government efforts to stabilize the financial system are progressing and there are tentative signs that the economic crisis is abating, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will say in a speech Tuesday.

Bernanke said new data in home sales, homebuilding and consumer spending suggest the sharp decline in economic activity may be slowing, but he said this "leveling out" of economic activity is but the first step toward recovery.

"To be sure, we will not have a sustainable recovery without a stabilization of our financial system and credit markets," Bernenke said in prepared remarks for an address Monday at Morehouse College in Atlanta. "We are making progress on that front as well, and the Federal Reserve is committed to working to restore financial stability as a necessary step toward full economic recovery."

- Ian Swanson