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Minutes: Fed began weighing options for rate rise

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve has begun to discuss the tools it could use to finally pull back the extraordinary stimulus it's provided the U.S. economy since 2008. But Fed officials plan further discussions and have set no timetable for any increase in interest rates.

Minutes of the Fed's April 29-30 meeting show that officials discussed how to unwind the support they've given the economy once they decide to begin raising the Fed's key short-term rate. That rate has remained at a record low near zero since December 2008.

The minutes stressed that the discussion should not be viewed as a signal that an increase in short-term rates is imminent. Because the economy is still recovering, most analysts don't think the Fed will start boosting rates before the second half of 2015.

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