Washington Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress on Wednesday that the economy had "regained some traction" after a lull in late spring, reinforcing expectations of higher interest rates during the final stretch of the presidential campaign.
Greenspan said the economic pickup followed a "soft patch" caused in large part by soaring energy prices.
"The most recent data suggest that, on the whole, the expansion has regained some traction," said the Fed chief, who offered his latest thoughts on the economy in an appearance before the House Budget Committee.
The modestly upbeat assessment two months before Election Day comes as President Bush and Democratic John Kerry clash over the economy and jobs.
A Federal Reserve survey of the economic climate said activity expanded in July and August. Many Fed regions reported modest growth.