WASHINGTON — The U.S. dollar remains the primary currency for reserve holdings and international transactions, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday.
"The dollar remains the dominant currency in terms of reserve holdings and in terms of international transactions," he said when asked about the U.S. currency's future role after a speech in Atlanta.
"That situation has not changed and I really don't see any prospects of it changing in the foreseeable future," the central bank chief said.
The remarks came as the challenge to the dollar's status in the global market has intensified, with China leading the call to launch a new global reserve currency to replace the dollar.
Bernanke pointed out that the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama needs to implement policy aimed at jump-starting the recession- hit economy so that the dollar can remain firm.
"It is important for us to make sure that the dollar stays strong, and the best way to make the dollar strong is to take policy actions that will allow the U.S economy to have a strong recovery," he said.
On the U.S. economy, Bernanke said in the speech that the latest figures on housing and consumer spending signal that the deep recession could be easing.
"Recently we have seen tentative signs that the sharp decline in economic activity may be slowing, for example, in data on home sales, homebuilding and consumer spending, including sales of new motor vehicles," he said.
"A leveling out of economic activity is the first step toward recovery. To be sure, we will not have a sustainable recovery without a stabilization of our financial system and credit markets," he added.
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