Bernanke Follows Greenspan: Rate Rises 25 Basis Points

What's the difference between new Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke and former chairman Alan Greenspan? Not much, initially, when it comes to rate setting.

As expected the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve's monetary policy panel, today raised the influential federal funds target rate to 4.75% at the end of a two-day meeting. It was the fifteenth quarter-point increase in the target rate since June 2004.

Another quarter-point increase at the FOMC's next scheduled meeting in May seems likely. "The Committee judges that some further policy firming may be needed to keep the risks to the attainment of both sustainable economic growth and price stability relatively in balance," the FOMC said.

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