Federal Reserve officials clash on state of economy

(Reuters) – Underscoring divisions at the central bank, one top policymaker on Friday said he had cut his forecast for economic growth, even as another said he saw no economic need for new monetary stimulus.

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve reinforced its commitment to super-easy monetary policy by promising to keep benchmark interest rates near zero through mid-2013.

The central bank also said it was weighing other options to help strengthen a weak economic recovery. Three Fed officials cast their vote against the decision, the first triple dissent at the Fed since 1992.

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