Federal Reserve Board Governor Roger W. Ferguson Jr. on Sunday rejected calls by some economists for coordinated interest rate cuts by central banks.

"Each central bank should focus on its own domestic economic setting and structure monetary policy to maintain full, sustainable employment with stable prices," Mr. Ferguson told the National Economic Association Forum in New York. "Any other approach, I believe, while attractive to those who write newspaper stories, is not realistic."

Mr. Ferguson drew a relatively positive portrait of the economy's health, saying inflation remains "contained" and growth is expected to continue throughout the year.

The millennium bug will pose particular challenges this year, he said. By yearend, companies will build inventories, fearing supply shortages, and consumers may hold more cash, fearing they will not be able to access their funds.

"As we get closer to the end of this year, market participants will require more information on the year-2000 preparations of counterparties," he said. "Those that are not prepared, or do not disclose their state of preparedness, may find that credit is harder to obtain."

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