Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the U.S. economic recovery is still fragile and low rates are necessary to promote stronger growth and bring down the jobless rate.
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"Interest rates are low because our economy is still in a fragile recovery," Bernanke told a town hall meeting in Washington with educators.
"Lower rates are intended to restore more normal levels of employment and growth."
In addition, he said "the European crisis is slowing our economy," along with other factors.