P.M. BRIEFING : Adviser Urges Lower Interest Rates

From Times Wire Services

White House economic adviser Michael J. Boskin today reinforced the Bush Administration's call on the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates.

"My own personal view is that there are signs of softness in the economy from where we are now, that further easing would probably be appropriate," said Boskin, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

His remarks at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce breakfast came three weeks after White House Budget Director Richard G. Darman complained that the central bank is keeping interest rates too high and will have to bear the blame if the country topples into a recession after nearly seven years of economic expansion.

President Bush later endorsed Darman's statement, calling it "very balanced."

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