Addressing the House and Senate in the final week of February, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reported mixed progress on the U.S. economy. Bernanke noted that “we are gaining some traction” in residential housing, automobiles and other durable goods. He also defended the Fed’s continued stimulative monetary policy, including near-zero short term interest rates and ongoing quantitative easing. Due to a persistently weak job market and a lack of wage growth, the U.S. consumer’s health is in question.
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