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December 14, 2017
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

US: Bernanke says Fed prepared to do more for economy

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today said the US central bank "would not hesitate" to launch another round of bond purchases to drive borrowing costs lower if it looked like the economy needed it.

"We remain entirely prepared to take additional balance sheet actions as necessary to achieve our objectives," Bernanke told reporters. "Those tools remained very much on the table and we would not hesitate to use them should the economy require that additional support."

In response to the deepest recession in generations, the Fed lowered benchmark overnight rates to near zero in December 2008 and more than tripled its balance sheet by purchasing $2.3 trillion in government and mortgage bonds.

In a statement after a two-day meeting today, the Fed's policy panel reiterated its expectation that rates would not rise until late 2014 at the earliest. It took no action to change monetary policy now.

Still, fresh projections released by the Fed showed the most dovish officials no longer want
to put off a rate increase until 2016.

The Fed bumped up its US economic growth forecast for 2012 but lowered it for the next two years. The fresh four-times-a-year forecasts showed the central bank expects the still-high 8.2 jobless rate to fall faster than it did previously.

It sees higher inflation over the next few year than it aw in January, with a notable rise in its forecast for this year. Still, it does not expect inflation to breach its 2 percent target.


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Tags:  Fed  Bernanke  rates  US  economy  





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