The U.S. unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent in February. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
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Federal Reserve policymakers are seen leaving short-term interest rates unchanged at a two-day policy meeting that began Tuesday, but also to signal that a rate hike is not too far off as long as the job market and inflation continue to improve.Fresh forecasts from the Fed's 17 officials released after the meeting ends Wednesday will likely signal three or possibly two rate hikes this year, a slower path of rate hikes than the four 2016 rate hikes envisioned in December, the last time forecasts were published.Indeed, since the last Fed meeting U.S. inflation has shown signs of stabilizing, with one measure published by the Dallas Fed rising to 1.9 percent, its closest to the Fed's 2 percent goal in two and a half years.That could mean another U.S. rate hike by mid-year and, depending on economic data, more to come after that.
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