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U.S. Chamber Praises Fed Rate Cut

Monday, December 10, 2001 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United States Chamber of Commerce praised the Federal Reserve Board's decision to cut the federal funds rate by an additional 25 basis points to 1.75 percent, the lowest since 1961. The Fed has cut its target rate by 4.75 percentage points since the beginning of this year.

"The Fed is steadfast on turning this economy around," said Martin A. Regalia, vice president and chief economist. "With incipient signs that a turn around is on its way, this latest round of interest rate cuts should go far in securing our economy against a continued slide.

"The economy is expected to shrink by another 2 percent in the fourth quarter due to a weakening of consumer spending and a decline in business investment," Regalia said. "However, the recent interest rate cuts are sure to provide a boost to economic growth come early next year.

"While the Fed continues its crusade against the current recession, real interest rates hover around 0 percent. Thus, it is imperative that fiscal policy aimed at boosting economic growth be pursued. Passage of an economic stimulus package by Congress would go a long way to shore up confidence in an economic turnaround," said Regalia.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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