The U.S. economy is moving in a positive direction, albeit very slowly. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said conditions are moving to toward more normal financial conditions and that the housing market had shown “some clear signs of improvement.” He also added that this forward progress stands in jeopardy if Congress does not reach a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff. “Cooperation and creativity to deliver fiscal clarity—in particular, a plan for resolving the nation’s long-term budgetary issue without harming the recovery—could help make the new year a very good one for the American economy,” he said.

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