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Fed Eases the Economic Stimulus Gas Pedal Again

The Federal Reserve trimmed its unprecedented, massive stimulus program again on Wednesday amid signs that economic growth has picked up in the past few months.

The move by the central bank, announced after Ben Bernanke's last meeting at the helm of the Fed, came despite concerns about turmoil roiling emerging market economies that have slammed the stock market recently. The Fed said it would reduce the bond buying program that helped haul the economy through the Great Recession by $10 billion to $65 billion, as many in the markets had expected.

"Taking into account the extent of federal fiscal retrenchment since the inception of its current asset purchase program, the Committee continues to see the improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions over that period as consistent with growing underlying strength in the broader economy," the Fed said in a statement released after a two-day meeting of its policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

The meeting was Bernanke's last before handing over the reins at the Fed to vice-chairman Janet Yellen.