Fed's Kaplan says he is getting more confident about economy


April 18 () - A top Federal Reserve policymaker on Thursday said he is "getting more confident" in U.S. economic growth this year but still thinks current interest rates are appropriate.

"I'm getting more confident about solid growth this year," Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He described the U.S. central bank's current benchmark overnight lending rate of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent as "appropriate" and "mildly accommodative."

Several banks and analysts revised their forecasts for first-quarter U.S. growth higher on Thursday after data showed retail sales surging in March and the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits falling to the lowest level in nearly 50 years last week.

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