WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) - Top White House economic adviser Ben Bernanke said Tuesday he's encouraged that inflationary pressures have been confined so far mostly to energy prices.
"Inflation is up, driven by energy prices," Bernanke said Tuesday evening in a short question-and answer session following a speech to a group of economists. " Underlying core rates remain low, which is encouraging."
The jump in energy prices has not yet spread to other goods and services, he said.
Bernanke, a former Federal Reserve governor who is now the chairman of the president' Council of Economic Advisers, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for retiring Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan .
President Bush is expected to name a new Fed chairman in the next few months.
Earlier, the Federal Open Market Committee released a summary of its Sept. 20 meeting, revealing that members of the policy-setting committee were adamant that core inflation rates not be allowed to rise in response to the surge in oil and natural gas prices.
The FOMC has increased interest rates at 11 consecutive meetings.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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