Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve is open to purchasing more Treasury bonds to lower long-term interest rates and boost growth if the economy worsens.

"If we don't see further improvement in the labor market, we will be prepared to take additional steps if appropriate," Bernanke said at a news conference after the Fed's two-day policy meeting.

Bernanke said the Fed took a significant step Wednesday when it agreed to extend a program to swap short-term bonds for longer-term bonds. The program is designed to drive down long term interest rates to boost borrowing and spending.

But he noted that the Fed is open to more action, if necessary.


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