CERAWEEK-Bernanke says energy sector a 'bright spot,' upbeat on jobs report

HOUSTON, March 7 Fri Mar 7, 2014 1:43pm EST

HOUSTON, March 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. boom in onshore natural gas production has cut power prices and appears to be contributing to the "reshoring" of manufacturing jobs from overseas, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday.

"It's a terrific development. I don't want to overstate it but it's one of the bright spots in the economy," he said at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

Bernanke said Friday's jobs report was positive.

"The jobs number we got this morning was consistent with a recovering economy," said Bernanke.

Signs of less wrangling in Congress over the debt limit and the budget should help alleviate worries among investors, Bernanke said, but he added more needs to be done on "too big to fail" rules that would limit the risks financial institutions can take.

He added that he feels relatively optimistic about the global economy.

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