Thursday
April
24
2014
12:40 am
Weather
  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Bernanke: 2014 could be better year for economy
January 04, 2014, 05:00 AM By Martin Crutsinger The Associated

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday predicted a stronger year for the U.S. economy in 2014, saying several factors that have held back growth appear to be abating.

Americans’ finances have improved and the outlook for home sales is brighter, Bernanke said. He also expects less drag from federal spending cuts and tax increases.

The combination “bodes well for U.S. economic growth in coming quarters,” Bernanke said during a speech to the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia.

Bernanke made a similar assessment of the economy at a Dec. 18 news conference after the Fed’s last meeting. At the meeting, the Fed announced it would begin in January to reduce its monthly bond purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion, noting signs of an improving economy.

The bond purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low and encourage more borrowing and spending.

Friday’s appearance was expected to be one of Bernanke’s final speeches as Fed chairman. He is stepping down at the end of this month after eight years leading the central bank.

The Senate is expected to confirm Janet Yellen on Monday to be the next Fed chairman. She would take over on Feb. 1.

In his speech, Bernanke said that he tried to make the Fed more transparent and accountable while at the same time combating a deep recession and severe financial crisis.

Making the Fed more transparent was an important goal for him when he took over in 2006. He cited his participation in more television interviews, his efforts to hold more town hall meetings and his visits to universities. Bernanke also added a quarterly news conference after four of the Fed’s eight policy meetings.

“We took extraordinary measures to meet extraordinary economic challenges and we had to explain those measures to earn the public’s support and confidence,” Bernanke said.

Bernanke said while the financial crisis has passed “the Fed’s need to educate and explain will only grow.”

Bernanke also used his speech to make some pointed remarks at Congress. He said “excessively tight” budget policies had been counterproductive.

“With fiscal and monetary policy working in opposite directions, the recovery is weaker than it otherwise would be,” Bernanke said.

Bernanke also defended the central bank against critics who say the Fed’s massive bond purchases have had little effect on jumpstarting the recovery.

“Economic growth might well have been considerably weaker, or even negative, without substantial monetary policy support,” Bernanke said. He noted economic research that supported the benefits of the Fed’s bond purchases.

In response to an audience question, Bernanke criticized legislation pending in Congress that would allow the Government Accountability Office to expand its audits of the Fed to look at decisions on interest rates. The GAO, the auditing arm of Congress, can currently conduct audits of the Fed. But it is prohibited from investigating its interest rate decisions.

Bernanke said passage of this legislation would be a bad idea because it would harm the Fed’s independence. He said such independence is necessary to assure markets that the Fed is not being swayed by political interests.

———

Associated Press reporter Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

 

 

Tags: bernanke, would, economic, purchases, congress, growth,


Other stories from today:

Auto sales best in six years, but demand seen dropping
A fabulous year for many mutual funds
Bernanke: 2014 could be better year for economy
 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
Do you support a land swap between the city of San Carlos and the elementary school district so the Charter Learning Center could be built on North Crestview?

Yes
No
Not sure

 

 
Tabbed Structure - Regular
 
 
 
 
 
No shooter, no victim located at Daly City medical center
Daly City police have cleared a building where a possible shooting was reported this afternoon. Pol..
Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
CUPERTINO — Apple plans to buy back an additional $30 billion of its stock, raise its quarterly di..
Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down
NEW YORK — Facebook’s earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, sur..
South Korea ferry toll hits 156 as search gets tougher
JINDO, South Korea — As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the ferry Sewol sank a week ag..
Michigan man among first in U.S. to get 'bionic eye'
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnose..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
Woodside news