The Federal Reserve will probably decide today to expandOperation Twist beyond $400 billion to spur growth and buyprotection against a deeper crisis in Europe, according to aBloomberg News survey of economists.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents in a June 18 poll said theFed will prolong the program, which seeks to lower borrowing costsby extending the average maturity of the securities in the centralbank's portfolio. The current program ends this month.

Policy makers led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may conclude thatgrowth is too feeble to reduce unemployment much further afterpayroll growth came close to stalling in May. At the same time,with inflation close to their 2 percent goal and the Greek electionreducing the risk of a euro breakup, they may decide an additionalround of quantitative easing isn't needed for now, economistssaid.

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