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Continued: Fed says economy growing only modestly; could mean longer period of bond buying

  • Article by: MARTIN CRUTSINGER , AP Economics Writers
  • Last update: July 31, 2013 - 2:15 PM

Job growth has averaged 202,000 a month since January, up from 180,000 a month in the last six months of 2012. That makes Friday's July employment report even more critical to the Fed's assessment of the economy. The report is expected to show employers kept hiring at roughly the same pace in July, while the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.5 percent.

Fed policymakers will also pay close attention to a report Thursday on July manufacturing activity. That could give them more insight into businesses confidence in the economy and how that will affect third-quarter growth.

The Fed's statement was approved on an 11-1 vote. Esther George, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, objected for the fifth straight meeting because of concerns that the bond buying could make financial markets unstable and increase the risk of inflation.

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