Despite signs of strength in recent economic reports, economists remain convinced that the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising rates at its Open Market Committee meeting next month.

The Federal Reserve was cautious about reducing rates when the economy weakened last year, and it won't overreact now to unexpectedly strong sales of existing homes in March and a sharp rise in consumer confidence in the weekly ABC/Money Magazine survey, said Edward Yardeni, chief economist at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell/C.J. Lawrence Inc.

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