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Bernanke says inflation pick-up not 'ingrained'

Bernanke says inflation pick-up not 'ingrained' (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that he was not worried that the pick-up in inflation earlier this year would persist. "Importantly, we see little indication that the higher rate of inflation experienced so far this year has become ingrained in the economy," Bernanke said in a speech to the Economic Club of Minneapolis. Bernanke said that inflation picked up sharply earlier this year on the back of higher gasoline and food prices. "However, inflation is expected to moderate in the coming quarters as these transitory influences wane," he said. Fed watchers have said that the inflation outlook was a key to whether Bernanke would be more willing to ease further, but the central bank chief didn't give clues as to what method of easing, if any, he prefers, saying members of the Federal Open Market Committee will consider later this month employing a range of tools "as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability." The bulk of Bernanke's remarks were very similar to his remarks at the Jackson Hole conference in late August.