6/30/2006

Federal Reserve Increases Rate

Fed raises key interest rate to 5.25% in 17th consecutive increase on fears of inflation risks. The recent increases in bank mortgage rates areprobably a reflection of this anticipated increase, following pastpatterns."Recent indicators suggest that economic growth is moderating from itsquite strong pace earlier this year, partly reflecting a gradual coolingof the housing market and the lagged effects of increases in interestrates and energy prices," according to a committee statement."Readings on core inflation have been elevated in recent months," thecommittee stated. "Ongoing productivity gains have held down the rise inunit labor costs, and inflation expectations remain contained. However,the high levels of resource utilization and of the prices of energy andother commodities have the potential to sustain inflation pressures."In a related action, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors unanimouslyapproved a 25-basis-point increase in the discount rate to 6.25 percent. See my site at http://www.juliahuntsman.com.

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