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Fed Signals More Steps to Spur Economy Amid Slower Growth

Wednesday, August 1st

The Federal Reserve said the economy has slowed and foreshadowed new steps to boost the weakening expansion.

“Economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year,” the Federal Open Market Committee said today at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Washington. “The committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.”

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke held off on stepping up record stimulus even as consumer spending flagged, economic growth slowed and unemployment persisted at 8.2 percent. Before their next meeting starts Sept. 12, Bernanke and his colleagues will assess reports on unemployment in July and August, and the European Central Bank may take steps to ease Europe’s debt crisis at a meeting tomorrow.

The FOMC said in today’s statement that “household spending has been rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year.”

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