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Americans skeptical of Fed

Poll shows that majority of respondents are unsure about the central bank's ability to improve the economy.

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By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Federal Reserve bears much of the responsibility for keeping the nation's economy on track but few Americans are fully convinced that the central bank can improve the country's financial situation.

A national CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Wednesday found that only 8% of respondents are "very confident" that the Fed can stimulate the country's shaky economy.

A full 17% of those surveyed said they were "not confident at all" and 34% were "not very confident," according to the poll.

The remaining 41% of respondents were only "somewhat confident" in the Fed abilities.

The poll results came from interviews with 1,008 adult Americans conducted by telephone from April 28 to April 30. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Fed has dramatically lowered its federal funds rate, the key overnight rate at which banks loan money to one another, in an effort to stimulate the economy and avoid a recession.

Last month, the central bank lowered the fed funds rate to 2%. It had been as high as 5.25% as recently as September.

But the downside of lower interest rates is often higher inflation and the Fed has a duty to both maintain economic stability while controlling inflation.

In its most recent statement, the central bank signaled that it may cease interest rate cuts for a while as concerns about rising inflation has become more prevalent. To top of page

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