The term “extended period” means the Federal Open Market Committee will not take any action on rates or its balance sheet for “at least two to three meetings,” Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

Additionally, Bernanke said, “it could be significantly longer,” since any move depends on the economy. Recovery has been “frustratingly slow,” he said. “We’re not where we’d like to be,” he added, but the situation is better than it was in August, the chairman told a press briefing.

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