WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke met privately with House Republicans Tuesday, and participants said he steered clear of saying the nation is in a recession.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters beforehand that the meeting was called because of "great concern about where our economy is headed."

Bernanke said before the session that he was looking forward to "having a nice, friendly and informative discussion with the leadership here."

A trio of crises — housing, credit and financial — are threatening to push the nation into a deep recession. Bernanke's meeting with House Republicans came one day before he is slated to go to Capitol Hill today to give lawmakers a fresh assessment of economic conditions.