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Ben Bernanke: Productivity Is What's Ailing The US

Ben Bernanke: Productivity Is What's Ailing The US
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  • Ben Bernanke, the former Fed Chairman, told CNBC that slow productivity growth is weighing on the U.S. economy.
  • Bernanke added that additional capital investment is needed to spur further growth.
  • Shares of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) remained higher by 0.6 percent following Bernanke's early morning comments.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared on CNBC early Monday  to offer his opinions on the state of the U.S. economy.

According to Bernanke, the U.S. economy has relied too much on the central bank for support and policymakers and other government officials "need to step up." He added that slow productivity is ailing the economy and more capital investment is required to boost growth – even at a time when the U.S. economy is outperforming other economies worldwide.

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"Compare the United States with Europe, with Japan, and other industrial countries, we have been making more progress," Bernanke said. "I'm not saying things are great, I don't mean to say that at all, but monetary policy can only do two things: it can keep inflation low and stable, and can help the economy come back from a recession. And both of those things are happening.

Commenting on inflation, Bernanke noted that, "If inflation is so very, very low that it's close to deflation, the risk is that ordinary interest rates will be low all the time...What happens where there's a recession, there's no where to cut."

Shares of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust remained in positive territory following Bernanke's early morning remarks. Investors and traders were also bullish following the Nikkei market closing above the 18,000 mark for the first time in two weeks while other Asian and European equities also saw gains. The Chinese markets are closed for a national holiday.

Posted-In: Ben Bernanke Federal Reserve InflationCNBC News Top Stories Economics Media Best of Benzinga


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