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The Federal Reserve is considering raising near-zero interest rates this year even though this may slow the US recovery, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday. The Federal Open Market Committee is now "giving serious consideration to beginning to reduce later this year some of the extraordinary monetary policy accommodation currently in place," Yellen said in a speech in San Francisco, according to the prepared text. Earlier this month, the Fed's policy arm opened the door to a federal funds rate hike as early as midyear, dropping the word "patient" in its post-meeting statement. Still, the recovery from the Great Recession that ended in 2009 appeared on track enough to sustain a rate hike.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The ratings agency Fitch has downgraded Greece's sovereign rating amid growing uncertainty over the new government's pledge to overhaul reforms needed to restart bailout loan payments and avoid default.