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Fed prepares to stiffen inflation response for a post-transitory world

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By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is expected on Wednesday to announce that it is speeding up the end of its pandemic-era bond purchases and signal a turn to interest rate increases next year as a guard against surging inflation. The identification of the Omicron coronavirus variant last month has added a new level of uncertainty for U.S. central bank officials who, after steadily discounting the impact of the pandemic on the economy’s performance, must now assess how the new strain’s faster spread may influence consumers, businesses, and the path of growth and inf…

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