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Federal Reserve leader urges tax, spending action

Thursday - 11/15/2012, 1:45pm  ET

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The region's top Federal Reserve official is expecting meaningful progress on reducing economic uncertainty now that the elections are over.

President Jeffrey Lacker of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond spoke Thursday at the West Virginia Economic Outlook Conference. He says employers and consumers alike operate under an immense cloud because of the impasse over federal debt and the budget.

Lacker said businesses most often mention uncertainty about federal tax and spending policy when they explain why they're not hiring or investing.

With the election behind us, Lacker said convincing action on those should propel 2013's economic growth beyond the 2 percent he's projected.

Lacker has recently opposed keeping interest rates low. He called such efforts lazy steps that overplay the role monetary policy can play in economic growth.

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(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)