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Fed says US economic activity accelerated at a moderate pace

Apr 14 (Reuters) – The US economic recovery accelerated at a moderate pace from late February to early April as more consumers, driven by increased COVID-19 vaccination and strong support They spent more on travel and goods, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

“Tourism reports were more optimistic, driven by a spike in demand for travel and leisure activities that contacts attributed to spring break, a loosening of pandemic-related restrictions, increased vaccinations and payments. stimulus, among other factors, “the Fed said in its” Beige Book. “

Central Bank Chairman Jerome Powell said this week that the US economy is at a “tipping point” where growth and hiring could accelerate in the coming months thanks to increased COVID-19 vaccination. and the solid fiscal stimulus.

The United States added 916,000 jobs in March, the biggest gain in seven months, and consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in more than 8 1/2 years in March as vaccines and stimulus boosted economic activity, according to data from the Department of Labor.

However, Powell and other Fed officials say better economic projections and a brief period of higher inflation will not affect monetary policy, and that the central bank will maintain its support until the crisis is over. The US economy still has 8.4 million fewer jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Fed officials agreed last month to keep interest rates close to zero and to continue buying $ 120 billion of bonds until there is “further substantial progress” toward maximum employment and inflation targets. In two weeks they will hold a new monetary policy meeting

(Report by Jonnelle Marte, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)

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