Forecast: U.S. Interest Rate Hikes Through November

When Chairman Alan Greenspan and his 11 voting colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) get together on March 22, they'll likely raise the influential federal funds rate, now 2.5%, by 25 basis points to 2.75%.

What's more, says Global Insight, they'll keep raising the funds rate, the interest banks charge each other on overnight loans, by 25 basis points at each FOMC meeting through November. That, says the Waltham, Mass.-based economic forecasting firm, would put the funds rate at 4% by yearend 2005, some 50 basis points higher than the 3.5% it projected a month ago.

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