Fed Cuts Outlook for 2012 Economic Growth

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The Federal Reserve has cut its forecast for economic growth for the rest of 2012.

The Fed expects the economy will expand no more than 2.4 percent this year and that unemployment will hold around 8 percent.

"The pattern of 2012 is a lot like the pattern of 2010 and 2011," Greg McBride, an analyst at Bankrate.com in North Palm Beach, told The Palm Beach Post. "The first third of the year, everything looks really positive, and then we hit a soft patch in the middle third of the year."

"We seem to be repeating the same pattern this year, largely due to the European crisis, but also because of uncertainty about the looming fiscal cliff," he said.

The Fed plans to extend a program called Operation Twist. The program is designed to encouraging more borrowing and spending by keeping interest rates low.

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