Fed balance sheet grows to record in latest week

NEW YORK Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:13pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew to another record size in the latest week as the central bank bought more bonds in an effort to support the economy, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The purchase was part of its $600 billion quantitative easing program, dubbed QE2, with the goal to stimulate investments and economic activity.

The balance sheet, a broad gauge of Fed lending to the financial system, expanded to $2.585 trillion in the week ended March 16 from $2.567 trillion the prior week.

(Reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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