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Economy in Brief

FOMC Sees Moderate Economic Growth and Less Inflation
by Tom Moeller June 20, 2012

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 that the economy may warrant an exceptionally low Fed funds rate at least through late 2014.

Some change in the assessment of the economy was evident in the Fed's communiqué versus earlier meetings. "... growth in employment has slowed in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated." Moreover, "Household spending appears to be rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year."

The Fed also changed its prior inflation call. "Inflation has declined, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable."

The Fed's economic projections call for GDP growth to pickup to 2.50% and 3.25% next year and 2014, respectively. Overall inflation and core inflation expectations were lowered to 1.75% and 1.80%, respectively. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 7.35% in 2014.

The Committee also decided to continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities.

The press release for today's FOMC meeting can be found here.

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

  Current Last 2011 2010 2009 2008
Federal Funds Rate, % (Target) 0.00-0.25 0.00-0.25 0.10 0.17 0.16 1.93
Discount Rate, % 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.72 0.50 2.39
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