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The Boston Globe

Business

Bernanke firm in Fed’s commitment to stimulus

Some worry about inflation, strategy change

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke reaffirmed the central bank’s commitment to its massive stimulus program on Tuesday, tamping down speculation of a pullback that spooked stock markets last week.

Testifying before the Senate banking committee, Bernanke said the benefits of efforts to keep interest rates near zero are clear. Sales of homes, autos, and other durable goods have rebounded. That has helped reduce unemployment and build household wealth, which in turn fuel the engine of the economy: consumer spending.

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