Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is on Capitol Hill for a two-day unveiling of the Fed's semiannual monetary policy report. Today, he testified to the Senate Banking Committee, which will be followed by a Tuesday appearance before the House Banking Committee.
Bernanke told lawmakers that the U.S. economy will continue to grow this year despite rising oil prices and a weak housing market. He also added that a “sustained rise in oil prices would represent a threat both to economic growth and to overall price stability.”
Senate Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) spotlighted how the central bank’s controversial policies will continue the economic recovery. This line of questioning is expected to follow into tomorrow, when the full House Finance Committee gathers to listen to Bernanke.
Earlier this year, Bernanke defended his agency's policies to Congress by outlining a plan to keep short-term interest rates near zero and purchasing government bonds to keep long-term rates down. Bernanke's outlook today follows his other recent Hill appearances by explaining that the Fed has a strong plan to keep future inflation low.