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Fed gives cautious reading on economy, holds main interest rate near zero
Fed gives cautious reading on economy, holds main interest rate near zero

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday broadly lowered its assessment of the U.S. economy and labor market, reinforcing the view that the central bank's first interest-rate hike in years will come later than previously thought. The Fed, in its statement after a two-day meeting in Washington, attributed the recent loss of economic momentum partly to temporary factors such as the winter weather. But officials also noted a slowdown in job gains and business investment, as well as an outright decline in exports, reflecting the strong dollar. Earlier Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported that the economy barely grew in the first three months of the year after expanding at a moderate 2.2%...

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