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Economy in Brief

FOMC Holds Interest Rates Unchanged; Outlook Deteriorates
by Tom Moeller  June 22, 2011

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee today left the Federal funds rate in a "range from 0 to 1/4 percent." The Fed funds rate has remained unchanged since late-2008 at its lowest level ever. The discount rate also was left unchanged at 0.75%.

The Fed indicated "... the economic recovery is proceeding at a moderate pace, though somewhat more slowly than the Committee had expected. The slower pace of the recovery reflects in part factors that are likely to be temporary, including the damping effect of higher food and energy prices on consumer purchasing power and spending as well as supply chain disruptions associated with the tragic events in Japan."

Regarding price inflation, the Fed indicated "Inflation has picked up in recent months, mainly reflecting higher prices for some commodities and imported goods, as well as the recent supply chain disruptions. However, longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable."

"The Committee will complete its purchases of $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of this month and will maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings. The Committee will regularly review the size and composition of its securities holdings and is prepared to adjust those holdings as appropriate."

A complete text of the Fed's latest press release can be found here.

The Haver databases USECON, WEEKLY and DAILY contain the figures from the Federal Reserve Board.

  Current Last 2010 2009 2008
Federal Funds Rate, % (Target) 0.00-0.25 0.00-0.25 0.17 0.16 1.93
Discount Rate, % 0.75 0.75 0.72 0.50 2.39
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