Ben Bernanke: Possibility of Sudden Fiscal Crisis: Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke on Thursday told a House Budget Committee that the economy is "gradually" recovering, but he expects stronger growth in 2012, than last year. Ben Bernanke: "this opportunity to discuss my views on the economic outlook, monetary policy and the challenges facing federal fiscal policymakers. over the past 2 1/2 years, the u.s. economy has been gradually recovering from a u.s. recession. while conditions have certainly improved the pace of the recovery has been frustratingly slow , particularly from the perspective of the millions of workers who remain unemployed or under employed , moreover this sluggish expansion has left the economy vulnerable to shocks , indeed last year supply chain disruption from the earthquake in Japan a surge in the price of commodities and a spill over from the debt crisis in Europe risk derailing the recovery. fortunately over the past few months, indicators of spending, production and job market activity have shown signs of improvement. the federal market committee participants indicated that they expected somewhat stronger growth this year than in 2011. the outlook remains uncertain and close monitoring of economic developments will remain necessary."