WASHINGTON - Ben Bernanke declined Wednesday to address speculation that he will step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve in January when his term ends, saying he wanted to keep the attention on Fed policy.
During a news conference after the Fed's meeting, Bernanke was asked to respond to comments President Barack Obama made Monday. Obama said Bernanke had already stayed longer than he planned, adding to speculation that Bernanke would leave in January.
Bernanke avoided the question.
"I would like to keep the discussion on monetary policy," Bernanke said. "I don't have anything for you on my personal plans."
Bernanke spoke to reporters after the Fed issued a statement and a forecast that sketched a brighter outlook for the economy. It said the job market has improved in recent months.