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Low Inflation Gives Bernanke Time to Press on With QE: Economy

The lowest inflation since the brink of the Kennedy-era economic boom in the 1960s is buying time for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to press on with the central bank’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.

A gauge of consumer prices excluding food and energy that is watched by the Fed rose 1.1 percent in the year through April, matching the smallest gain since records started in 1960. With inflation below the Fed’s 2 percent long-run goal and the jobless rate at 7.6 percent, the Fed is falling short of its mandate to ensure stable prices and maximum employment.