Economic woes spur hike in interest rates

The US economy has taken some severe blows over the past several months, as federal deficits have grown, the cost of the Iraq war has climbed, and energy costs have continued to rise.

The US economy has taken some severe blows over the past several months, as federal deficits have grown, the cost of the Iraq war has climbed, and energy costs have continued to rise.

Federal Reserve officials, led by chairman Alan Greenspan, while expressing confidence that Hurricane Katrina will cause no more than a temporary hit to the US economy, raised their key short-term interest rate to help keep inflation under control.

Most frequent messages

1. Nine of 10 voters agreed to raise the benchmark federal funds rate to 3.75% from 3.5%

2. This is the 11th consecutive quarter-percentage-point increase in the interest rate

3. Consumer rates may also rise. Banks may up rates they pay on savers' CDs, money markets

4. Hurricane Katrina likely is only a temporary stumbling block to the economy's growth

5. Consumer spending, employment, and overall economic growth will be set back

Based on analysis of more than 12,000 radio and TV US broadcast news programs from September 20-23

Evaluation and analysis by VMS

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