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The Federal Reserve says it will further slow the pace of its bond purchases because a strengthening U.S. job market needs less support. But it’s offering no clear signal about when it will start raising its benchmark short-term rate. Most economists think a rate increase is at least a year away despite signs of rising inflation. In a statement after a meeting, the Fed is reiterating its plan to keep short-term interest rates low “for a considerable time” after it ends its bond purchases, which have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low.



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