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Fed Chair: US economy showing signs of improvement for 2012

Feb 06, 2012 Philip Burgess

U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke cites recent improvements in spending and job creation as signs of overall economic improvement in coming months. In a testimony to the House Budget Committee in Washington this week, Bernanke also acknowledged that the U.S. marketplace remains vulnerable to shocks. The Fed chief also stressed the need to reduce the long-term federal budget deficit. "Fortunately, over the past few months, indicators of spending, production, and job-market activity have shown some signs of improvement," Bloomberg quotes Bernanke as saying. "The outlook remains uncertain, however, and close monitoring of economic developments will remain necessary." Inflation will also remain subdued, Bernanke added, with help from more stable commodity prices and substantial slack in employment and product markets. The testimony was held a day before the Department of Labor is set to release it official jobs report for January, which most analysts expect will show a level unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. Analysts hold that improvements in job creation are needed to stir consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the overall economy.