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Fed's Lockhart says recent weak economic data 'inconclusive'

ATLANTA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A top U.S. Federal Reserve official said on Thursday that recent economic data had been "inconclusive" and that some softness was expected in the first quarter of 2014.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said disappointing data in recent months could be attributed to weather. He added that he did not think the data pointed to fundamental weakness in the economy, though he said it was too early to be sure.

The Fed has been gradually reducing the pace of its monthly bond-buying stimulus program, but experts have questioned whether ongoing weak data could disrupt that strategy.