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Rate rise odds drop as Fed calls slowdown a winter effect

BLEAK: While impact of unusually harsh winter is likely to fade, other drags, including a drop in capital spending and exports, may last longer, say analysts.


FEDERAL Reserve policymakers said the US economy has weakened, partly for reasons that will fade, after a sharp slowdown reinforced expectations that officials will keep interest rates near zero at their next meeting in June or longer.

"Economic growth slowed during the

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