Residents still cautious after rate cuts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Staff Writer

The U.S. Federal Reserve went a step further on Tuesday to try and revive a weakened economy by cutting its key federal funds rate by a half percentage point.

Many people don’t think that the half-point cut is enough to put a charge into consumers and avoid a recession. Besides, it’s not the cuts themselves that will ignite a spending spree; it’s the consumers’ confidence level.

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The interest rate cuts seem to keep coming with regularity, as this was the ninth rate-cut this year and the second half-point cut in less than a month.

Pike County residents shared their views on the Federal Reserve’s actions and how it might effect local spending and business moves.

Dale Hrebik, who is in his first year at his job, said he doesn’t plan on making any major purchases any time soon.

"I don’t think that (the rate cuts) will spark the economy," Hrebik said. "If people don’t feel confident, then that has an effect on the economy. (The rate cuts) are starting to look more and more like a desperation move, and if it’s perceived that way then it will be even less effective."

Barbara Allison, assistant professor of marketing at Troy State University said the rate cut will have an effect on her family’s plans.

"It will impact my family’s management of our financial assets," Allison said. "In particular, we will delay our plans to withdraw our stock and put it in a money-market account."

Gordon Mosley said it’s not likely to affect him.

"I think it’s more likely to affect businesses," Mosley said. "It doesn’t have much to do with us, it has more to do with how much banks charge each other for overnight loans.

When asked if he thought people would wait on the next rate cut before making a move he said, "They can’t cut it much more," referring to the Federal Reserve and a tenth possible rate-cut this year. But after today’s cut, the U.S. Central Bank said that it was ready to take further action, if necessary, to avoid a recession.

Dale Hrebik suggested that leaders should address the economic problem in several different ways instead of depending solely on a rate-cut to rejuvenate the economy.