According to a January 3, 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal, “In his final major address as Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke said… the U.S. recovery should pick up steam this year as the worst effects of the housing bust wane and Washington’s fiscal tightening eases. Mr. Bernanke, who steps down from the central bank at the end of the month, presented a cautiously optimistic outlook for U.S. and global growth…

The combination of financial healing, greater balance in the housing market, less fiscal restraint, and, of course, continued monetary policy accommodation bodes well for U.S. economic growth in coming quarters…He also cited reasons to believe growth will pick up in the rest of the world, too, including banking and fiscal reform efforts in Europe.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal last month estimated U.S. growth in 2013 was 2.1%, and they expected it to accelerate to 2.7% in 2014. Strong data on spending by businesses and consumers since then have led some to boost their forecasts further…”

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