Bernanke Calls for More Lending to Troubled Areas

By Jeannine Aversa | April 29, 2011 | 12:51 PM EDT

Washington (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling for more lending to people and small businesses in lower-income neighborhoods, saying they've been hurt disproportionately by the worst recession since the 1930s.

Bernanke says at Fed conference on community development that many of the nation's poorer communities were struggling before the downturn.

Bernanke says the national economy is growing at a moderate pace and that job creation is gradually improving, repeating comments made earlier this week at a news conference after the Fed's policy meeting.

Still, Bernanke warns: "Our economy is far from where we would like it to be, and many people and neighborhoods are in danger of being left behind."