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NATION



Published: Thu, October 26, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATION

Federal Reserve leavesinterest rates unchanged

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged Wednesday for a third consecutive meeting, hoping that a slowing economy will dampen a worrisome rise in inflation.

The Fed left its federal funds rate at 5.25 percent. It has been at that level since late June when the central bank raised rates for a 17th consecutive time in a two-year effort to combat rising inflation. The decision to keep the funds rate unchanged means that the prime lending rate, the benchmark for millions of consumer and business loans, will remain at 8.25 percent.

OHIO

FirstEnergy reports37% earnings increase

AKRON -- FirstEnergy Corp. said Wednesday that earnings rose 37 percent in the third quarter, powered by record electricity generation this year.

FirstEnergy, a regional electric utility, earned 454 million, or 1.41 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with earnings of 332 million, or 1.01 per share, a year ago. Revenues totaled 3.4 billion for the quarter, down from 3.5 billion a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 1.32 per share.

Associated Press




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