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Fed projects no interest increases through 2022

Central bank sees 6.5% GDP decline and high unemployment this year

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said the Fed is committed to using all tools available to provide relief to the economy.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday repeated its promise of continued extraordinary support for the economy as policymakers projected a 6.5% decline in gross domestic product this year and a 9.3% unemployment rate at year's end.

"The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment and inflation in the near term and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term," the Fed said in its latest policy statement. The first policymaker economic projections since December see the overnight interest rate remaining near zero through at least 2022.

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