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Fed slashes 2014 US growth forecast

The US Federal Reserve on February 12, 2009 in Washington, DCThe Federal Reserve slashed its 2014 growth forecast for the US economy Wednesday to 2.1-2.3 percent after a deeper-than-expected contraction in the first quarter of the year. But the Federal Open Markets Committee left its forecast for interest rates largely intact, predicting as earlier that an initial increase of the benchmark federal funds rate from the current zero level would take place only next year, and the rate would not rise rapidly after that. The FOMC, as expected, decided to ratchet down its bond-buying stimulus program by another $10 billion, taking it to $35 billion a month from $85 billion in December. The central bank policymakers said economic growth “has rebounded in recent months” from the first-quarter contraction.

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