President Barack Obama said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has stayed in his position "longer than he wanted," Bloomberg reported.

The president's comment provides one of the clearest signals yet that the central bank chief will leave when his current term is up on Jan. 31.

 

"Ben Bernanke's done an outstanding job," Obama said in an interview with Charlie Rose that aired yesterday. "He's already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed to."

 

Obama had asked Bernanke to serve a second term as chairman, which began on Feb. 1, 2010. Bernanke was originally nominated to the post by President George W. Bush, and had also served on Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.

This Fortune article lays out "Why Bernanke can't win." Until a few weeks ago, the article says, it was clear that the Fed was trying to help the job market improve by buying $85 billion a month in Treasury bonds until the economy improves. But last month, Bernanke said the Fed may slow down its bond-buying program within "a few meetings."

Some critics are saying the Fed is giving the economy an outlook that is too positive.