Federal Reserve chairman: 2014 could be better year for US economy

By Martin Crutsinger

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.

Susan Walsh, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says factors that have kept the economy from accelerating appear to be abating and he foresees stronger growth in 2014.

Bernanke says Americans' finances have improved and the outlook for home sales is brighter. He also expects less drag from federal spending cuts and tax increases. Combined, those factors bode well for U.S. economic growth in coming quarters.

He made the comments to the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia. It's one of his final speeches as Fed chairman. He is stepping down at the end of this month after eight years as chairman.

The outgoing chairman says he tried to make the Fed more transparent and accountable while at the same time combating a deep recession and severe financial crisis.

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