Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday offered an optimistic view on the U.S. economy’s prospects to Democratic senators, but warned that “tough decisions” were ahead on dealing with long-term budget deficits and healthcare costs, according to lawmakers present. Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware added that Bernanke said that “the next several years are more encouraging but we can’t forget those long-term challenges and they involve among other things programs that are concerned with healthcare.” Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen was confirmed by the Senate on Monday to succeed Bernanke at the helm of the central bank.
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