News / Economy

Bernanke: Fed Has More Ways To Boost US Economy

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and his wife Anna arrive at an evening reception and dinner at the inaugural event of the annual Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole in Moran, Wyoming, August 25, 2011
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and his wife Anna arrive at an evening reception and dinner at the inaugural event of the annual Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole in Moran, Wyoming, August 25, 2011

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the central bank still has a "range of tools" it can use to stimulate the economy, but he did not say when or how they might be used.  Bernanke spoke Friday to a gathering of top economists at a mountain resort in the western U.S. state of Wyoming.  Investors and economists have been speculating for days about what, if any, new stimulus efforts Bernanke might outline in this speech. 

The head of the U.S. central bank, Ben Bernanke, tried to reassure investors that the Federal Reserve still has ways to bolster the flagging U.S. economy, even after it has used its usual tools, such as cutting key interest rates.  Those rates have been slashed to nearly zero, leaving no room for further such action. The Fed has also bought hundreds of billions of dollars worth of financial assets in a maneuver called "quantitative easing" intended to cut long-term interest rates and bolster lending and spending.

But Bernanke gave no specifics on what the bank might do now, other than scheduling a longer than previously planned meeting of top Fed officials late in September.

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody's Analytics, says Bernanke is probably going to have to do more to stimulate the economy, and might announce that action in September.

"I think it will be very important for them at that time to give us a clearer sense of where they are headed.  They are going to have to ease monetary policy further," he said.

Bernanke called on Washington to help growth by working out better ways to cope with debt, and adopt effective tax, trade and regulatory policies.  

He said "most" of the economic policies that support robust economic growth are outside the province of the central bank.  In his view, the recent political wrangling over the debt ceiling, government spending and other issues hurt the economy by cutting business and consumer confidence.

Bernanke said it is necessary to cut the debt in the long term, but urged policymakers to do that without slashing the spending that is supporting the fragile recovery in the short term.  

The chief economist for Wells Fargo Economics, John Sylvia, says that concern was echoed by some of the central bankers from other nations at the gathering.

"There was this discussion about being very aggressive about fiscal policy in the short run that could be counter productive in the longer term to economic growth," he said.

Sylvia and Zandi spoke on the Bloomberg financial news service.

Bernanke spoke shortly after a report showed that the U.S. economy grew more slowly than first thought in April, May, and June.  Commerce Department experts say the economy expanded at a 1 percent annual rate in the second quarter.  That is even slower than the meager 1.3 percent growth experts first estimated, and less than investors expected.  The report is a routine update made as experts get additional data.  

A separate study by the University of Michigan showed that consumer confidence declined in August.  Economists track consumer sentiment for hints about the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity.

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.