Fed Sticks With Stimulus
The Federal Reserve isn't making any major moves today. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its latest statement today, and it appears quantitative easing will live to see another day as the federal funds target rate range stays at 0% to 0.25%.
According to the Committee, economic activity continues to expand at a "moderate pace," with signs of improvement across labor markets, housing markets, and business fixed investment. But that's where the good news ends.
The FOMC highlights a housing sector that has slowed over recent months, and points an unwavering finger at the economic troubles recently created by the government. "Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth," the statement reads, and later alludes to the "extent of federal fiscal retrenchment over the past year" as a key reason for its continued intervention.
The Committee will continue to buy up $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities per month, as well as $45 billion of longer-term Treasury securities. The group also expects to keep the federal funds target rate at its near-zero level for as long as the unemployment rate stays above 6.5% (it's currently at 7.3%). Inflation, at least, remains of relatively little concern, and should stay well within the Committee's target range.
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