In a reference to the strong performance of the United States economy, German Finance Minister Theo Waigel (right) said countries with high growth rates and high employment might need to increase interest rates. Mr Waigel told the interim committee of the International Monetary Fund that pre-emptive increases in borrowing costs might be needed in some nations to slow growth to sustainable levels and avoid even higher rates later on. 'In industrial countries with high capacity use and high employment, it may come down to making any necessary rate increases early to avoid even larger increases later on,' Mr Waigel said. 'That is the best way of extending the current economic cycle.' Last week, the US Federal Reserve reported that US industrial production rose 0.7 per cent in August and the percentage of factory capacity in use rose to 83.9 per cent that month, the highest level since September 1995.