Fed foresees steady growth despite winter setbacks

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 2:06 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials expect the U.S. economy to grow at a steady if modest pace in 2014 despite weather-related setbacks this winter.

The Fed forecasts growth of 2.8 percent to 3 percent this year, a bit lower than its December projection of between 2.8 percent and 3.2 percent.

The forecast suggests that Fed policymakers will continue to pare their monthly bond purchases, which are intended to stimulate growth by keeping interest rates low. The Fed's first policymaking meeting under new Chair Janet Yellen ended Wednesday.

The Fed expects unemployment to fall further this year than it thought in December. It forecasts that the unemployment rate will drop to 6.1 percent to 6.3 percent by the end of this year, down from its December projection of 6.3 percent to 6.6 percent.

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