Bernanke, still not worried about inflation

Here are some comments of relevance from Bernanke’s speech, “The economic recovery that began in the middle of 2009 appears to have strengthened in recent months, although, to date, growth has not been fast enough to bring about significant improvement in the job market.” “Improving household and business confidence, accommodative monetary policy, and more supportive financial conditions, including an apparent increase in the willingness of banks to make loans, seems likely to lead to a more rapid pace of economic recovery in 2011 than we saw last year.” He adds the key caveat, “Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established.”

On the part I was most looking forward to, his comments on inflation, he said “we have recently seen significant increases in some highly visible prices, notably for gasoline. Indeed, prices of many commodities have risen lately, largely as a result of the very strong demand from fast growing emerging market economies, coupled, in some cases, with constraints on supply.” Notice he attributes none of the rise to his policy and he then sums up with this, “Nevertheless, overall inflation remains quite low” and then he goes on to cite benign 2010 inflation readings and emphasizes core as “a better predictor of where overall inflation is headed.” Looking at 2010 CPI stats is classic rear view mirror economic analysis and it seems that the Fed won’t worry until higher CPI readings are plastered on their foreheads.

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