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Fed's Dudley: Poor jobs data reflects 'temporary' weakness

William Dudley, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkThe poor US labor market report for March is probably only part of a temporary downturn in the economy, a senior Federal Reserve official said Monday. Friday’s report showing only about half the number of jobs expected, as well as other weaker data, have been a surprise, said William Dudley, the president of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve. It was the first comment from a Fed official since the disappointing March jobs report was released Friday, with analysts expecting the poor data could convince the Fed to postpone an interest rate hike that had been expected as early as June. Dudley stressed that, after having kept the benchmark federal funds rate at zero since the end of 2008 to help rebuild the recession-shocked economy, the Fed needed to be sure that the economy was strong enough to handle “normalizing” monetary policy with the first rate hikes this year.

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