Bernanke: financial crisis taking toll on economy

Jackson, Wyo. – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the financial crisis that has pounded the country - coupled with higher inflation - is taking a toll on the economy.

He says the crisis poses a major challenge to Fed policymakers as they try to restore stability.

Bernanke told a conference in Jackson Hole that the financial storm has not yet subsided, and its effects on the broader economy are becoming apparent in the form of softening economic activity and rising unemployment.

He welcomed the recent drops in prices for oil and other commodities, and believes inflation will moderate this year and next.

But the Fed chief said the inflation outlook remains highly uncertain and the Fed will "act as necessary" to make sure that inflation doesn't get out of hand.