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The Federal Reserve at its meeting Wednesday stood by its aggressive efforts to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment and held out the possibility that it is prepared to do more if growth doesn’t rebound from the current soft patch, which the central bank blamed in part on the government’s tax increases and spending cuts to curb the deficit.

Many economists believe that if the government’s across-the-board spending cuts, known as a sequester, are not lifted, growth in the current April-June quarter and the rest of this year will come at a lackluster 2 percent or less.