07/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bernanke's Inflation Talk Takes Emphasis Off Of Slowdown

The Federal Reserve's policy makers ratcheted up their worries about inflation on Wednesday without abandoning their view that the American economy is weak.

They left the key short-term interest rate they control unchanged, ending a streak of rate cuts stretching back to last summer, when the bursting of the housing bubble and the ensuing credit squeeze brought economic growth almost to a halt.

At the end of a two-day meeting, the Fed officials voted to hold at 2 percent the short-term federal funds rate, which affects what consumers pay for mortgages, car loans and other credit. In a statement, the 10 policy makers made inflation more of a concern than economic weakness, the first time they had done so in months.

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