Federal Reserve policy-makers are prepared to administer another bracing tonic to an ailing economy that's showing some signs of improvement: a sixth interest rate cut. But private economists are divided over what they believe is the right dosage.

Economists also are hopeful that the interest-rate cuts coupled with President Bush's signature on a $1.35 trillion tax relief bill would give a boost to economic growth in the coming months.

They predicted that the Fed's chief policy-making group, the Federal Open Market Committee, would cut interest rates for a sixth time this year at its meeting Wednesday. An afternoon announcement of the decision was expected.