Bernanke: Economic growth to be frustratingly slow

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | November 2, 2011 | 2:35 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledges the pace of economic growth is likely to be "frustratingly slow," after the Fed downgraded its forecast for the next two years.

Bernanke says the central bank is looking for economic activity and labor market conditions to improve gradually over the next two years, but at a sluggish pace.

Bernanke cited the debt crisis in Europe as a particular concern. He says that could have adverse effects on confidence and growth. He says the Fed is closely monitoring the situation.

It was Bernanke's third news conference this year, a practice he started in April in an effort to provide more background on the Fed's actions and its thinking behind its latest economic forecast.