The nation's economy finished the year at a gallop, leaving the Federal Reserve's monetary policymakers with a formidable decision to make about interest rates when they meet Tuesday.

"I think the Fed is getting nervous. We could be due for a speeding ticket," said Robert A. Brusca, chief economist at Nikko Securities, New York. He expects a rate hike within two months and would not be surprised if it happened this week.

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