August 18, 1997 in Nation/World

Open Market Committee To Consider Interest Rate Policy

Compiled By Business Staff
 

All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve Tuesday, when the central bank’s Open Market Committee meets to consider its interest rate policy.

Financial markets have swung wildly since early August as edgy investors have tried to guess whether the Fed policy-makers will bump up interest rates to keep inflation in check.

The Dow Jones industrial average has plunged nearly 550 points since reaching a record high of 8,259.31 on Aug. 6, including a 247-point drop on Friday.

Most experts believe the Fed will be content to leave rates alone. Indeed, Fed officials have been dropping hints in a recent series of speeches, interviews and appearances before Congress that they’re in no rush to push interest rates higher.

The FOMC last raised the overnight bank lending rate, its chief monetary policy tool, in March. At that time, it bumped the rate up a quarter point to 5.5 percent.

In two subsequent meetings, the FOMC has left rates unchanged.

In other events this week:

Today

Dr. Leland Hartwell, president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, speaks to the Medical Investments Northwest conference at Sheraton Seattle Hotel, continuing Tuesday.

Tuesday

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets to review interest rate policy.

Wednesday

The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute holds a tour of three orchards in the Wenatchee and Chelan, Wash., communities focusing on local food production and marketing. Cost is $25. Call: 208-882-1444

First day of a USDA National Commission on Small Farms public meeting in Washington, D.C. The commission is preparing a report on programs and issues affecting small farms to present to Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman by Sept. 30. Written statements will be accepted at the meeting. Fax: 202-720-0596.

The state Department of Revenue presents a free New Business Outreach Workshop from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and again from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the department’s Spokane office, 4407 N. Division. Call: 482-3805.

The Spokane Building Owners and Managers Association meets from noon-1 p.m. at Cavanaugh’s Inn at the Park, 303 W. North River Drive. Cost is $9. Call: 466-4905.

The Executive Women’s Network meets at noon at the DoubleTree Hotel at Interstate 90 and Sullivan in the Spokane Valley. Call: 924-1595 or 928-1714.

WSU Spokane holds an engineering and computer science open house from 4-6 p.m. in the auditorium of the WSU Spokane Phase I Building, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd. Featured speakers include Packet Engines founder and CEO Bernard Daines and Dr. Robert Altenkirch, dean of the WSU College of Engineering and Architecture. Call: 358-7500.

Thursday

The Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce presents Business After Hours from 5:15-7 p.m. at the YMCA in Riverfront Park. Cost is $5. Call: 459-4111.

Friday

Nothing scheduled.

Saturday

The National Lentil Festival unfolds in Pullman starting with the Tase T. Lentil 5K fun run at 8 a.m. For more information, call the Pullman Chamber of Commerce: 800-882-3023.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Lumber prices

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: ON THE SHELF Newsweek, Aug. 18: Cover story explores the controversial new alliance between Apple Computer and Microsoft.

Pricey real estate Here are the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest median price for existing homes during the second quarter of 1997, according to the National Association of Realtors: 1. Honolulu, $300,000. 2. San Francisco, $288,500. 3. Orange County, Calif., $$228,400. 4. Bergen, N.J., $203,600. 5. Newark, N.J., $198,600. 6. Boston, $194,200. 7. San Diego, $183,400. 8. New York, $177,700. 9. Middlesex, N.J., $176,000. 10. Los Angeles, $173,200. Seattle ranked 11th on the list, with a median price of $172,900. Other Northwest cities and their median prices include: Portland, $151,100; Spokane, $103,300; Boise, $101,500; and Richland, $101,300.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ON THE SHELF Newsweek, Aug. 18: Cover story explores the controversial new alliance between Apple Computer and Microsoft.

Pricey real estate Here are the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest median price for existing homes during the second quarter of 1997, according to the National Association of Realtors: 1. Honolulu, $300,000. 2. San Francisco, $288,500. 3. Orange County, Calif., $$228,400. 4. Bergen, N.J., $203,600. 5. Newark, N.J., $198,600. 6. Boston, $194,200. 7. San Diego, $183,400. 8. New York, $177,700. 9. Middlesex, N.J., $176,000. 10. Los Angeles, $173,200. Seattle ranked 11th on the list, with a median price of $172,900. Other Northwest cities and their median prices include: Portland, $151,100; Spokane, $103,300; Boise, $101,500; and Richland, $101,300.


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