Federal Reserve policymakers on Monday laid the groundwork for a third round of bond purchases, saying the U.S. recovery was weak and unemployment far too high.


Last month, after a stream of disappointing economic news, the Fed slashed its outlook for growth but took only a modest step toward easing policy further, adding six months to its so-called Operation Twist, which aims to lower rates by selling short-term securities and buying long-term ones.

But after a government report Friday showing employers added fewer jobs than expected in June, economists at top Wall Street firms polled by Reuters put the chance of a new round of policy easing at about 70 percent, up from 50 percent on June 20.

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