US cautiously optimistic

Steven Cross

The head of the United States Reserve Bank has boosted international sentiment by pledging another round of economic stimulus if needed.

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank expected to keep interest rates near zero until late 2014 and that economic growth was picking up.

Mr Bernanke also forecasted unemployment in the US to fall to around eight per cent by the end of the year.

However he conceded that "it's still a little too premature to declare victory," and outlined plans if the economy started to downturn again.

"We remain entirely prepared to take additional balance sheet actions if necessary to achieve our objectives," he said.

"Those tools remain entirely on the table and we will not hesitate to use them should the economy require that additional support."

Steven Cross

The head of the United States Reserve Bank has boosted international sentiment by pledging another round of economic stimulus if needed.

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank expected to keep interest rates near zero until late 2014 and that economic growth was picking up.

Mr Bernanke also forecasted unemployment in the US to fall to around eight per cent by the end of the year.

However he conceded that "it's still a little too premature to declare victory," and outlined plans if the economy started to downturn again.

"We remain entirely prepared to take additional balance sheet actions if necessary to achieve our objectives," he said.

"Those tools remain entirely on the table and we will not hesitate to use them should the economy require that additional support."

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