Bernanke Says Fiscal Cliff Already Hurting Economy
Keeping rates low encourages more borrowing and spending, which drives economic growth.
At the news conference, Bernanke said changes in the purchases will be determined by how the economy performs.
He said the Fed expects to keep purchasing bonds to support economic growth "until we see substantial improvement in the labor market."
But if the committee determines that the risks of increasing the Fed's balance sheet begin to outweigh the benefits, the purchase program will be modified, he said.
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