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Mar 31, 2010 12:34 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Fed officials: record low rates still needed

Super-low interest rates are still needed to aid the economic recovery, but there's a chance that the Federal Reserve may have to start raising rates before the nation's unemployment rate drops significantly, a Federal Reserve official says.

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, made his observations in prepared remarks to business people meeting in Hartford, Conn.

Lockhart says the Fed is right to pledge to keep rates at record lows for an "extended period." But he - as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did last week - that does not mean a specific time period. Some analysts have taken it to mean around six months.

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