Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke — returning this week to the scene of a 2010 speech that foreshadowed a second round of quantitative easing — probably will disappoint investors looking for him to signal new stimulus.
Bernanke probably wonâ€™t use his Aug. 31 speech at the Fedâ€™s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to suggest a third round of bond buying is at hand, according to economists including Michael Feroli and James Oâ€™Sullivan. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee — who meet next on Sept. 12-13 — are closely monitoring unemployment and other data and have been divided about whether to spur expansion. The U.S. economy also remains beholden to political decisions made in Washington and in Europe, which is struggling to contain its debt crisis.
â€œI donâ€™t think Bernanke wants to make Jackson Hole into a policy-signaling event,â€ preferring to â€œreserve that for the FOMC meetings,â€ said Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) in New York.
Two years ago, Bernanke said in his speech that the FOMC â€œis prepared to provide additional monetary accommodation through unconventional measures if it proves necessary, especially if the outlook were to deteriorate significantly.â€
The committee didnâ€™t announce a second round of quantitative easing at its September meeting, though; it waited instead until November 3 of that year.
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