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Fed’s Powell says it’s time to taper bond purchases, but not raise rates

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By Lindsay Dunsmuir and Ann Saphir (Reuters) -Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Friday the U.S. central bank should begin reducing its asset purchases soon, but should not yet raise interest rates because employment is still too low and high inflation will likely abate next year as pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic fade. “I do think it’s time to taper; I don’t think it’s time to raise rates,” Powell said in a virtual appearance before a conference. “We think we can be patient and allow the labor market to heal.” That outlook, Powell emphasized, is only the most likely case, adding…

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