Bernanke: Economy still needs Fed stimulus

USA Today
February 26, 2013

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a Senate hearing Tuesday that the Fed intends to keep its stimulus policies going until the job market improves significantly, partly allaying recent concerns that it might soon rein in its bond-buying.

Bernanke’s remarks in his semi-annual report to Congress appeared intended in part to settlefinancial markets that have grown more concerned recently that the Fed will soon stop or slow its massive bond-buying program.

“We want to continue the (bond) purchases until we see a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market,” he told the Senate Banking Committee in a hearing that grew testy at times as Republican members pointedly criticized the program.

Bernanke did outline in greater detail than he had previously the risks of the Fed’s monthly purchases of $85 billion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities — which are aimed at holding down long-term interest rates.

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