Just as many economists had predicted, the Ben Bernanke-led Federal Open Market Committee today announced the 17th consecutive increase in the federal funds rate, to 5.25 percent. The committee approved a rate increase of 25 basis points, citing elevated inflation and high energy prices as contributing factors. "Recent indicators suggest that economic growth is moderating from its quite strong pace earlier this year, partly reflecting a gradual cooling of the housing market and the lagged effects of increases in interest rates and energy prices," according to a committee statement. "Readings on core inflation have been elevated in recent months," the committee stated. "Ongoing productivity gains have held down the rise in unit labor costs, and inflation expectations remain contained. How...
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