LONDON -- Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen said he thinks the Federal Reserve may stand back and wait for fresh economic data before it adjuts interest rates again.

"It seemed to me that they were signaling somewhat of a respite while they look at these numbers to consolidate somewhat," the U.S. official said in an interview. He was responding to a question on whether the Fed has gone as far as it can in raising interest rates.

Mr. Bentsen also gave an upbeat assessment on economic growth, currently in a range between 3% and 3.25%, and inflation, now running at about 3%. "I think those are sustainable numbers," he said.

On foreign trade, Mr. Bentsen said he is optimistic that the United States will ratify the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade agreement by year-end. He hasn't asked the Senate to waive budgetary rules to speed up Senate action.

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