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Fed Expected To Hold Rate Until Spring

Don't expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to adjust short-term interest rates anytime soon. Chairman Alan Greenspan and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) passed up a chance to cut rates at their Dec. 22 meeting, and, says, Merrill Lynch, they're likely to do the same at their Feb. 3 get-together. However, Merrill Lynch also believes that the U.S. economy will have slowed sufficiently that by the summer of 1999, the closely watched and highly influential federal-funds rate will be down to 4%. It's now at 4.75%.

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