CNN: a bullish outlook

The U.S. economy is on stronger footing than a year ago, but Ben Bernanke wants to be careful not to squelch the recovery now.

“A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily, but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further,” the Federal Reserve chairman told the U.S. congressional Joint Economic Committee today.

The Federal Reserve has kept its key short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008, and expects it to stay there for a “considerable time” as the recovery strengthens, Bernanke said.

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