Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the Federal Reserve'sunprecedented bond buying in his first comments since the Fedrenewed the purchases last month, saying the program will spurgrowth, cut unemployment, help savers and support the dollar.

The central bank will sustain record stimulus even after theexpansion gains strength, and policy makers don't expect theeconomy to remain weak through 2015, Bernanke said today in aspeech in Indianapolis. The U.S. probably won't fall back into arecession even with growth too weak to reduce a jobless rate stuckabove 8 percent since February 2009, he said in response to anaudience question.

“We expect the economy to continue to grow,” Bernanke said tothe Economic Club of Indiana. “Our concern is not really arecession. Our concern is that growth will continue but at a pacethat's insufficient to put people back to work.”

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