Bernanke Acknowledges Americans Aren't Happy

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a conference of economists on Monday that despite data pointing to an economic recovery, many people still feel stressed. He said the economic well-being of Americans is the Fed's ultimate objective — that is, the sense that things are going well.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with your happiness.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: That's the indicator Fed Chief Ben Bernanke wants to see. Bernanke told a conference of economists last night that despite data pointing to a recovery, many people still feel stressed. He said the economic well-being of Americans is the Fed's ultimate objective - that is, the sense that things are going well.

It's not a new idea. The tiny Asian nation of Bhutan tracks national happiness instead of gross national product.

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