Top officials of
the U.S. Federal Reserve (central bank) are meeting Wednesday to consider more
ways to boost the struggling U.S. economy.
Some economists speculate that
effort will include a program of buying long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, intended
to ease borrowing costs for consumers and businesses.
The credit market
is a key to economic growth, but it stalled when the U.S. housing market
The Federal reserve is also expected to keep a key interest
rate target at its current historically low level (a range of 0 - 0.25 percent).
Officials have some new data to consider as a report Wednesday shows
U.S. consumer prices rose at the fastest rate since last July. February's
four-tenths of a percent increase was driven by higher prices for gasoline and
A separate study of U.S. trade shows the gap between what
Americans export and what they buy from foreign countries has narrowed. The
current account deficit fell to just under $133 billion in the last few months
Also Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama launched an effort
to win support for his economic policies with a visit to California and an
internet video sent to an extensive network of political supporters.
the video Mr. Obama asks Americans to "knock on doors" and urge neighbors to
support his budget. He also asked them to phone and write to members of
congress urging them to vote for the spending plan.
The president's $3.6
trillion budget has been attacked by opposition Republicans for raising the
federal deficit by spending and borrowing.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and