Even though the once barreling U.S. economy is now slowing down, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday called recent increases in inflation unwelcome and pledged to make sure surging energy prices don't make things worse.

In deciding the Federal Reserve's next rate move in late June, Bernanke said the inflation outlook "will receive particular scrutiny." Fed policymakers "will be vigilant" to ensure that the recent pattern of higher readings in core inflation - which excludes food and energy prices - "is not sustained," he said in remarks prepared for an international monetary conference here.

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