WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke Wednesday told lawmakers a highly accommodative monetary policy will remain appropriate for the foreseeable future, citing an unemployment rate that is still high and the slow pace of price increases.

In his semiannual monetary policy testimony to Congress, Bernanke also reiterated to the House Financial Services Committee that the Fed will continue buying bonds until its sees a "substantial improvement" in labor market conditions, and stressed that any decisions regarding the future of the program will depend on policymakers assessments of the economic outlook and cumulative progress made.

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