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Fed's Dudley: Economy healthier but not yet well

Fed's Dudley: Economy healthier but not yet well (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. economy is healthier but "is not yet well," said William Dudley, the president of the New York Federal Reserve regional bank on Monday. In remarks at the start of a press conference reviewing the outlook for the New York region, Dudley said that the job data for December and January was "quite difficult to interpret." He said the truth probably lies "somewhere in between" the disappointing gain in payroll jobs over the past two months and the dramatic decline in the unemployment rate to 9.0% from 9.8% in November. Conditions are in place for stronger growth in 2011 and 2012 that will reduce joblessness, he said, but added "despite the stronger job growth that we expect in the months ahead, we will continue to have a substantial amount of slack in our labor markets that will take time to absorb." The New York Fed president is always a voter on the Fed's interest-rate setting Open Market Committee.