The Fed Cuts Interest Rates

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As expected, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates by a quarter of a point.

The easing of monetary policy comes after a stronger, half-point rate cut that was delivered in September.

In its statement, the Fed says the risks of inflation and growth are roughly balanced, seeming to leave open the question of future rate moves.

Indeed, the decision came on a 9-1 vote with the president of the Kansas City regional Fed bank dissenting, arguing that he preferred no change in the federal funds rate.

The housing slump continues, while the credit crunch has improved since its worst point in August.

Just today, crude oil futures have jumped to new highs. In addition, the government reported that third-quarter growth was stronger than expected.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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