Ben Bernanke admitted that economic growth was “less vigorous than expected,” in his speech at Jackson Hole today, but said the Federal Reserve wasn’t going to act just yet. The Fed Funds Rate is near zero, but Bernanke said the central bank still had some “unconventional measures” it could use to stimulate the economy if necessary—but he doesn’t think it’s necessary yet.
“The issue at this stage is not whether we have the tools to help support economic activity and guard against disinflation,” he said. “We do.” The issue is whether “the benefits of each tool, in terms of additional stimulus, outweigh the associated costs or risks.” Some of those tools might include new large-scale purchases of treasuries and securities, promising to keep the funds rate low for an extended period, or cutting the interest the Fed pays to banks for money deposited with it, the Washington Post reports. For more on just how "vigorous" growth has been, click here. (More Ben Bernanke stories.)