The Fed Downgrades Its Outlook On The Economy

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The Federal Reserve is predicting slower growth and less improvement in the unemployment rate through 2013. The news comes after a meeting of the Fed's policy-making committee, in which it decided against taking new measures to stimulate the economy. But Chairman Ben Bernanke said additional steps may be needed down the road.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a bleaker forecast from the Fed. Just when we were beginning to hear some more positive economic news, the Federal Reserve reminds us not to get too excited. It's predicting slower growth and less improvement in the unemployment rate through 2013 than previously expected. This news comes after a two-day meeting of the Fed's policy-making committee, in which it decided against taking new measures to stimulate the economy for now.

But Chairman Ben Bernanke said additional steps may be needed down the road. The Fed now predicts the economy will grow no more than 1.7 percent in this year, 2011. Now, unemployment is expected to drop, but very, very slowly, down to 8.6 percent by the end of next year.

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