Fed Chief: Rate Reduction Possible To Head Off Economic

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (AP / file)

During a speech in Charlotte Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted there may be another interest rate cut on the horizon to help ease consumer concerns.

Bernanke said the worsening credit crunch, a deepening housing slump and rising energy prices probably will create what he terms some "headwinds for the consumer in the months ahead."

Bernanke also said he expects consumer spending to continue growing, but hinted that consumers could turn more cautious.

Before discussion the regional economy, Bernanke recalled his many North Carolina connections, including that his parents and brother live in Charlotte.

He says cities like Charlotte probably will continue to attract educated and skilled workers from other places, though improving skills of local workers is critical.