In a widely expected move, the Federal Open Market Committee today raised its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 4-3/4 percent, a five-year high. The meeting of the committee marked the first time Ben Bernanke, new head of the Federal Reserve, had a chance to make a direct impact on interest rates. The raise applies to the amount of interest banks can charge each other for overnight funds. "The Committee judges that some further policy firming may be needed to keep the risks to the attainment of both sustainable economic growth and price stability roughly in balance," the committee said in a widely anticipated statement issued after the meeting. The statement seemed to suggest that the Fed's raising of interest rates, which have gone up for the last 15 meetings in a row, is not over. Analysts and observers had expected interest rates to rise, and most of the anticipation around the meeting centered on the statement that accompanies the announcement of the committe...
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