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    WASHINGTON-- A strong economy with full employment and stable prices is tantalizingly on the horizon, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Wednesday. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, Yellen noted that the central bankers and many economists see a return to full employment and stable prices by the end of 2016. This would be the strongest economy in a decade. "I find this baseline outlook quite plausible," Yellen said.

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    The Federal Reserve will continue to trim its massive bond-buying program and end it this fall, a top Fed official predicted on Wednesday, adding that interest rates will stay near zero until at least then and probably some time beyond. "I cannot foresee any reason to not continue to reduce it to zero," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher told reporters after an event.

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    WASHINGTON-- Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, said Wednesday that he is "not uncomfortable" with the current low level of inflation in the United States, according to news reports. In a speech in Austin, Fisher said he will not vote for any policy to lift inflation beyond the Fed's 2% annual inflation target, according to Reuters. Fisher also said the economy was recovering after a harsh winter.

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    U.S. businesses are still in a "defensive crouch" and are not aggressively hiring largely because of uncertainty over fiscal policy, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said on Wednesday.

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    WASHINGTON- U.S. economic activity increased in most of the country as the weather improved, particularly in the snow-ravaged northeast, according to summary of economic conditions released Wednesday. The Beige Book, a collection of anecdotes about the economy, said ten of the 12 Federal Reserve districts saw improvement- mostly of the "modest to moderate" variety- but a decline in activity in the Cleveland and St. This summary fits comfortably with most private-sector...

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    WASHINGTON-- U.S. economic activity increased in most of the country as the weather improved, particularly in the snow-ravaged northeast, according to summary of economic conditions released Wednesday. The Beige Book, a collection of anecdotes about the economy published by the Federal Reserve, said 10 of its 12 districts saw improvement-- mostly of the "modest to moderate" variety-- but there was a decline in activity in the Cleveland and St. This summary fits comfortably with the...

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    U.S. economic activity picked up in recent weeks as a weather-related drag lifted, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. In its Beige Book report of anecdotal information on business activity collected from contacts nationwide, the U.S. central bank said eight of its 12 districts characterized growth as "modest to moderate."

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    Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said he is "not uncomfortable" with the current low level of U.S. inflation, and will not vote for or support any policy that drives it above the Fed's long-term 2-percent goal. "We are in that region of 1 to 2 percent; I am not uncomfortable with that," Fisher said.

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    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday the U.S. economy was making "very meaningful progress" toward full employment but had some way to go yet. "I do think we are seeing very meaningful progress, although clearly ... the goal has not been achieved at this point," she told the Economic Club of New York in answer to a question.

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    WASHINGTON-- The forecast of the Federal Reserve and many economists of a return to full employment and stable prices by the end of 2016 is "quite plausible," said Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday. "It is very welcome news that a return to these conditions has finally appeared in the medium-term outlook of many forecasters," Yellen said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York. It has been a decade since the economy was in such a healthy state, Yellen said.

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    WASHINGTON-- The following is the text of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech to the Economic Club of New York, as prepared for delivery. "Nearly five years into the expansion that began after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the recovery has come a long way. More than 8 million jobs have been added to nonfarm payrolls since 2009, almost the same number lost as a result of the recession.

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    Persistently low inflation poses a more immediate threat to the U.S. economy than rising prices, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday, stressing that the U.S. central bank would be delivering policy stimulus for some time to come. In her second public speech since taking the Fed's helm, Yellen was careful not to predict when interest rates would rise from near zero.

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    The first phase of the Bank of England's interest-rate guidance, which generated much skepticism in markets, can formally be laid to rest. With most U.K. economic data looking remarkably strong, phase two is also starting to look questionable. Unemployment in the three months to February fell to 6.9%, breaching the 7% threshold above which the BOE had pledged not even to think about raising rates from a historically low 0.5%.

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    WASHINGTON-- The Federal Reserve will likely hold short-term interest rates at zero until "the latter half of 2015," based on current forecasts for growth and inflation, said Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Fed Bank, on Wednesday, according to a report on Dow Jones Newswires. In an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the Atlanta Fed's banking conference, Lockhart said he expects growth to accelerate to a 3% rate this year. Lockhart said he was encouraged by the...

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    NEW YORK-- Treasury prices trimmed losses Wednesday after data showed construction on new homes missed expectations. Housing starts, but missed economist forecasts of a 990,000 gain. After the data, the 10- year note yield, which rises as prices fall, was up 2 basis points on the day at 2.646%.

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    WASHINGTON-- Thanks to mining and utilities output, industrial production largely escaped the pitfalls of the polar vortex that wreaked havoc in other parts of the U.S. economy, data released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday suggest. Industrial production grew more than forecast in March, and February's data were revised higher to show the biggest monthly advance since May 2010.. Industrial production grew 0.7%, topping the 0.5% seen in a MarketWatch-compiled economic...

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    WASHINGTON-- Construction on new U.S. homes in March hit the fastest pace in three months, led by single-family homes, but missed economists' expectations, according to government data released Wednesday. Home-construction starts rose 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 last month, as they rebounded from a tough winter, according to the U.S. But March's pace missed, who were looking for a construction-starts rate of 990,000, compared with an original estimate of a...

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    WASHINGTON-- Industrial production grew more than forecast in March, and February's data was revised higher to show the biggest monthly advance since May 2010, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Industrial production grew 0.7%, topping the 0.5% seen in a MarketWatch-compiled economic forecast, and February's gain was revised to 1.2% from an initially reported 0.7%. The gains mean that production grew an annualized 4.4% in the first quarter.