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The Boston Globe

Business

Fed expected to emphasize low rates

More time could give US economy a needed push

WASHINGTON — When the Federal Reserve meets this week, it is likely to affirm a message it intends to help lift the economy: that consumers and businesses will be able to borrow cheaply well into the future, even after unemployment has dropped sharply.

Last month, the Fed signaled for the first time that it will tie its policies to specific economic barometers. It said that as long as the inflation outlook is mild, it could keep short-term rates near zero until unemployment dips below 6.5 percent from the current 7.8.

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