Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
At the Federal Reserve Community Affairs Research Conference, Arlington, Virginia
April 29, 2011
The Challenges to Communities
"As families have struggled, so have their communities. In some areas, for example, high foreclosure rates have produced significant numbers of vacant properties, depressing surrounding home prices, attracting crime, and creating financial burdens for local governments. Thus, some community development groups now are simply trying to hold onto past progress that they have made in building up the physical infrastructure and human capital of their communities, while others have lost ground and are beginning the process of rebuilding.
In short, the financial crisis and recession touched many families and communities. But those that were struggling before the crisis were often disproportionately affected.
The broader economy is in a moderate recovery, and we have recently seen some welcome, if gradual, improvement in the labor market. But our economy is far from where we would like it to be, and many people and neighborhoods are in danger of being left behind. The work of community groups, local leaders and businesses, and others is a critical component to a national economic recovery. In addition to our work in regulating banks and in conducting monetary policy so as to achieve maximum employment with price stability, the Federal Reserve will continue to assist these efforts through local community outreach, by using its convening power, and through research like that being discussed at this conference. If we work together, I believe we can find effective ways to repair the damage done by the crisis to the economic prospects of families and communities. Until vulnerable families and troubled communities have regained lost progress, the economic recovery will remain incomplete."
To read the complete speech, click here.
Data Download Program (DDP)
Interactive access to statistical data
Communities across the county were hit hard by the financial crisis and economic downturn, but many of them have begun recovering, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in his April 29th speech. Above is just a portion of the speech, there are also key data points available the link below it. The Federal Reserve statistical releases and historical data have been divided into two pages: Statistics and Historical Data Page and Surveys and Reports both have volumes of information available.