Bernanke says US inflation outlook 'uncertain'

 

Bernanke says US inflation outlook uncertain

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday called the U.S. inflation outlook 'highly uncertain, and said central bank policy-makers would do what they must to preserve price stability.

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Published: Sat 23 Aug 2008, 2:28 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:56 AM

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Financial crisis taking toll on economy: Bernanke

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At the same time, he called a recent decline in commodity prices and stabilization of the U.S. dollar 'encouraging.'

'If not reversed, these developments, together with a pace of growth that is likely to fall short of potential for a time, should lead inflation to moderate later this year and next,' he said in prepared remarks to a Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank symposium.

The Fed chairman said the U.S. central bank's current low interest-rate strategy was conditioned on oil and commodity prices stabilizing as the global economy slows and that trend appeared to be happening.

'Nevertheless, the inflation outlook remains highly uncertain, not least because of the difficulty of predicting the future course of commodity prices, and we will continue to monitor inflation and inflation expectations closely,' Bernanke told a gathering of global central bankers.

The Federal Open Market Committee 'is committed to achieving medium-term price stability and will act as necessary to attain that objective,' Bernanke said.

Meanwhile, Bernanke said a 'gale force' financial storm prompted by a surge in mortgage delinquencies, the collapse of U.S. housing markets and the freezing of credit had not yet subsided.

'Add to this mix a jump in inflation, in part the product of a global commodity boom, and the result has been one of the most challenging economic and policy environments in memory,' he said.


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