Bernanke: No specific target for bond purchases

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Ben Bernanke, as Federal Reserve Chairman, at news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Washington, DC

Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, at news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Washington, DC (AP photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve does not have a specific economic target for its new stimulus program and will keep buying bonds until it sees more jobs, lower unemployment and stronger growth.

“We are looking for on-going sustained improvement in the labor market,” Bernanke said during a news conference Thursday after the Fed announced a series of bold stimulus to get the economy moving.  “There’s not a specific number in mind. But what we’ve seen in the last six months isn’t it.”

The Fed said Thursday that it will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as it deems necessary. It plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015. And it’s ready to try other measures if hiring doesn’t improve.

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