Tuesday, 7 February 2012

15:00 GMT United States Fed's Bernanke testifies

The Fed Governor Ben Shalom Bernanke gives a press conference as to how the Fed observes the current U.S. economy and the value of USD. His comments may influence the volatility of USD and determine a short-term positive or negative trend. His hawkish view is considered as positive, or bullish for the USD, whereas his dovish view is considered as negative, or bearish for the Dollar.

Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the economy "frustratingly slow." On Tuesday, Congress will find out whether he still thinks so, even after Friday's news that hiring surged in January and unemployment reached a three-year low.

Don't expect a radical new outlook on the economy.

When Bernanke testifies to the Senate Banking Committee, economists expect no shifts in the Fed's efforts to bolster the recovery. They say Bernanke's tone might be slightly more upbeat than when he spoke Thursday to House members. But they expect him to reiterate the Fed's plan to keep a key interest rate at a record low near zero until at least late 2014.

On Friday, the government said employers added 243,000 jobs in January, far more than expected. And unemployment fell for a fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent. Still, 8.3 percent is still painfully high. Nearly 13 million people remain unemployed.

"I expect that Bernanke will take note of the good news that the economy is healing while saying that the bad news is that it is healing slowly," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
Bernanke will likely keep all the Fed's option open, in part because of threats to the U.S. economy from abroad. They include Europe's debt crisis and rising tensions with Iran that could disrupt global oil supplies.

Moreover, Congress is still debating whether to extend a Social Security tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans and is due to expire at the end of this month.

"The uncertainty level right now is just so high," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. "The Fed is going to be very cautious in changing its stance."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/07/bernanke-is-expected-to-stick-with-low-rate-stance/#ixzz1lgnxD9ka

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