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US Central Bank Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged

Top officials of the U.S. central bank held a key interest rate steady at two percent Tuesday.

Some economists had been expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in an effort to ease the current financial crisis by making it easier for businesses and consumers to borrow money.

In a statement explaining their decision, Fed officials said they were not changing rates in part because the danger of inflation is still high. The statement did say that strains in the financial markets have increased "significantly" and labor markets are weakening.

The Fed often lowers interest rates in an effort to stimulate the economy, and raises them to fight inflation.