WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has given strong hints recently that he's in favor of another interest rate cut to bolster the sagging economy.

The Chairman expressed confidence in the overall economic picture but allowed that the growing risk of recession would see prompt action by the Fed. He said that policymakers would be "exceptionally alert and flexible."

Volatility in the stock market and rising oil and gas prices together with a credit crunch and a troubled real estate market are all cited as reasons to expect a cut.

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