Tighter credit, lending conditions build case for Fed policy hold

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By Ann Saphir (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve officials will likely leave their policy rate on hold at next week’s meeting thanks in large part to a new dynamic unfolding before them: Other forces are finally doing the work for them. While the benchmark rate they set every six weeks or so has sat unchanged since July – a horizon that now looks to extend to December if not longer – rates on the open market that determine borrowing costs for businesses and consumers have kept climbing and now look poised to finally slow what has been a surprisingly strong economy. Indeed fresh tidbits on the le…

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