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Bernanke Says Fed Must Consider Economy’s Strength

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers that U.S. central bankers will need to assess the trajectory of growth before deciding on whether further stimulus is needed.

“The main question we have to address has to do with the likely strength of the economy going forward,” Bernanke said today in response to questions from Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania. “Will there be enough growth going forward to make material progress on the unemployment rate?”

“If we decide that further action is required, then of course we have to decide what action is appropriate or what communications are appropriate,” Bernanke said in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee.

“We do have options that we can consider,” Bernanke said, without listing them. The Fed would have to make “difficult assessments” to weigh the costs and benefits of future policies, he said.

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