(WASHINGTON) — Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that some steady economic improvement necessitates no further action from the nation’s central bank.
Speaking to reporters, Bernanke acknowledged that the economy is growing at a moderate pace, confirming what analysts have been saying since the beginning of 2013.
However, with the nation’s unemployment rate still at 7.7 percent, the Fed chief said that record low interest rates of 0 to 0.25 percent will remain in place for the foreseeable future in order to make credit more available to businesses and individuals. Billions of dollars in bond buying will also continue.
Bernanke told reporters, “Projections of the unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of this year is 7.3 to 7.5 percent declining to 6.0 to 6.5 percent in the final quarter of 2015.” If predictions hold true, that’s when the interest rates, essentially what banks charge other banks, will rise.
Overall, Bernanke noted that the jobless rate has dipped slightly this year while consumer spending is up and the housing market is showing renewed signs of strength.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Cristina Alesci Seth Fiegerman and Charles Riley, CNN
Ahiza Garcia, CNN
Susie East, CNN