Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made it clear at his press conference on Wednesday afternoon that the central bank sees no need to usher in another round of bond buying - known as quantitative easing - to help give the sagging U.S. economy a much-needed jolt. At least not yet.
He noted that when he began discussing the need for a second round of quantitative easing - dubbed QE2 - last August, the economic backdrop was considerably different than it is today. Back then, the Fed's dual mandate of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices was under threat: Deflation was a risk and employment wasn't improving.
Now, while recent economic data have pointed to sluggish economic improvements, the situation is different. The threat of deflation has receded and there has been some improvement in the labour market, though Mr. Bernanke described these improvements as "frustratingly slow."
In other words, while he believed that the case for action from the Fed was clear last summer, the situation is different today. But, he assured listeners that the Fed will act as needed.