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Economy in Brief

FOMC Lifts Funds Rate Target by Half Point as Expected
by Tom Moeller  May 4, 2022

At today's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed announced that it will raise the target for the Federal funds rate to a range of 0.75% - 1.00% from 0.25% - 0.50%. It placed the rate at the highest level since March 2020. The move was as expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The Fed also "anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate."

The statement indicated that, "Although overall economic activity edged down in the first quarter, household spending and business fixed investment remained strong. Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined substantially. Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher energy prices, and broader price pressures."

It also stated, "The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is causing tremendous human and economic hardship. The implications for the U.S. economy are highly uncertain. The invasion and related events are creating additional upward pressure on inflation and are likely to weigh on economic activity. In addition, COVID-related lockdowns in China are likely to exacerbate supply chain disruptions. The Committee is highly attentive to inflation risks."

In addition, the Fed will begin reducing its $9 trillion portfolio of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities on June 1.

Today's action was endorsed by each member of the FOMC.

The statement issued following today's meeting can be found here.

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