Bernanke, who steps down as head of the U.S. central bank at month’s end, gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy in coming quarters. But he tempered the good news in housing, finance and fiscal policies by repeating that the overall recovery “clearly remains incomplete” in the United States.
In what came as a surprise to some, the Fed decided last month to cut its asset-purchase program, known as quantitative easing or QE, by $10 billion to $75 billion per month. It cited a stronger job market and economic growth in its landmark decision, which amounted to the beginning of the end of the largest monetary policy experiment ever.
But that decision “did not indicate any diminution of (the Fed’s) commitment to maintain a highly accommodative monetary policy for as long as needed,” Bernanke said at a American Economic Association forum in a snow-swept Philadelphia.”Rather, it reflected the progress we have made toward our goal of substantial improvement in the labor market outlook that we set out when we began the current purchase program in September 2012,” he said according to prepared remarks.To recover from the deep 2007-2009 recession, the Fed has held interest rates near zero since late 2008. It also has quadrupled the size of its balance sheet to around $4 trillion through three rounds of massive bond purchases aimed at holding down longer-term borrowing costs.
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed
“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”