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The changes to the statement, collectively acknowledging stronger growth and more confidence that inflation will rise to the 2 percent target, may spur speculation that the Fed will pick up the pace of interest-rate increases.Even with a brightening outlook for global growth and Fed tightening, financial conditions continue to ease.Fed officials also voted to continue with their program to reduce the central bank's balance sheet, which began in October.The FOMC said in a separate statement Wednesday that it elected Powell as its chairman, effective Feb. 3 . Inflation has picked up slightly since the middle of 2017 while remaining short of the central bank's 2 percent goal.
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