Bernanke says fiscal cliff already hurting economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is already being hurt by the "fiscal cliff" standoff in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. But Bernanke said the Fed believes the crisis will be resolved without significant long-term damage.
The steep tax increases and spending cuts can be avoided with a successful budget deal, Bernanke said during a news conference after the Fed's final meeting of the year. The Fed's latest forecasts for stronger economic growth next year and slightly lower unemployment assume that happens.
Still, Bernanke said the uncertainty surrounding the resolution is already affecting consumer and business confidence. And it has led businesses to cut back on investment.
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