06-27-2017  1:49 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Multnomah County Library Hosts ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies’

Library will hold a series of social justice workshops this summer ...

The Skanner Wins NNPA Award for Best Layout and Design

Our graphic designer Patricia Irvin wins for July 2016 issues ...

Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ask Ernie the Attorney

Ernest Warren's primary practice is personal injury, real property, corporate and criminal practice in Ore. and Wash. ...

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Federal Reserve trimmed its forecast for economic growth in 2013, but said Wednesday that it's a bit more optimistic that the unemployment rate will decline.

The Fed expects the U.S. economy to grow between 2.3% and 2.8% this year, slightly weaker than its prior estimate.

Meanwhile, the central bank expects the unemployment rate to fall to between 7.3% to 7.5% by the end of the year. The unemployment rate was 7.7% as of February.

Overall, these minor tweaks to the forecasts don't signal any major changes for monetary policy. The central bank still plans to keep its stimulative policies in place, probably until 2015.

Federal Reserve policymakers voted 11-to-1 to keep short-term interest rates near zero, as the Fed has done since December 2008 in an effort to stimulate the economy.

The Fed reiterated that it intends to keep rates low until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5% or inflation exceeds 2.5% a year. Those are rough guidelines, not strict targets. Most Fed officials don't expect those levels to be met until 2015.

The central bank also said it will continue to buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion in Treasuries each month for the foreseeable future. The hope is that those purchases will continue to push long-term interest rates even lower.

Esther George, president of the Kansas City Fed, was the only voting member to oppose the decision, citing concerns that the Fed's policies would increase "the risks of future economic and financial imbalances."

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will explain the central bank's latest policies at a press conference at 2:30 a.m. Eastern.

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