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Fed Likely to Offer Few Clues on Rate Policies

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists expect the Fed will be more reserved about what signals it sends following the wrap up of its two-day meeting Wednesday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke rattled markets last month when he said the Fed might slow its bond purchases later this year if the economy strengthens.

This time, the experts expect policymakers will offer no major signals on interest-rate policies while stressing that any future changes don’t hinge on a set timetable. No actual policy changes are expected.

Financial markets have been pivoting for months on speculation about what the Fed might do with its $85-billion-a-month in Treasury and mortgage bond purchases. Those purchases have led more consumers and businesses to borrow, fueled a stock rally and supported a sluggish economy.