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Fed: Credit crunch effects limited          Send a link to a friend

[September 06, 2007]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- A painful credit crunch is taking its worst toll on the already ailing housing market, while its impact on the rest of the national economy at least so far seems limited, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

The Fed's survey of business conditions around the country was anxiously awaited by Wall Street and Main Street for further clues about what the central bank will do with interest rates on Sept. 18, its next regularly scheduled meeting.

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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 Aversa]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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