A growing number of economists believe the Fed will lower a key interest rate now at 5.25 percent by at least one-quarter percentage point at that time to protect the economy from any ill effects of the credit crisis. The Fed hasn't lowered this rate in four years.
"Outside of real estate, reports that the turmoil in financial markets had affected economic activity during the survey period were limited," according to the Fed's report.
[Associated Press; by Jeannine
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