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Fed Officials Adopt Policy of Stability

September 25, 1993|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Board officials last month shifted their monetary policy away from a bias toward raising interest rates, according to meeting minutes released Friday.

All members of the Federal Open Market Committee at the Aug. 17 meeting "agreed that recent developments pointed to the desirability of a steady policy course" because of the absence of inflation pressures and the restraining effect of budget deficit reduction, the minutes say.

The open market committee influences interest rates by setting the key federal funds rate paid by banks.

The committee met again Tuesday. Although minutes of that meeting will not be released until Nov. 19, most economists believe the group maintained a neutral position on rates.

Most economists believe the Fed will leave rates unchanged until early next year. The latest statements by the 12-member committee mark a shift away from the posture adopted in May that it stood ready to raise rates.

However, inflation has subsided since then and the annualized rate of inflation during the first eight months of this year was 2.9%, the same as the increase in consumer prices for all of last year.

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