Fed: No Interest Rate Changes in Last Meeting of Year

Dec 13, 2011 3:15pm

The final Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting of the year just ended, and the nation’s central bankers took no action. The key interest rate – known as the Fed Funds rate – remains at 0 to 0.25 percent as does the Fed’s promise to keep rates at his historically low level through mid-2013.

The post-meeting statement suggests the Fed sees “…the economy has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding some apparent slowing in global growth.”

Other key points in their assessment of the economy:

 

  • There are indicators that the jobs situation is getting better, but unemployment remains too high.
  • American consumers are consistently increasing their spending.
  • Businesses are not increasing their spending as quickly.
  • Housing market continues to be a trouble spot.
  • Prices are increasing at a moderate pace, and long-term inflation expectations are in-check.

They did note that there are “significant downside risks” and most on Wall Street suggest this is a less-than-subtle hint at the risks posed by Europe’s current debt woes.

Markets were expecting the Fed might announce a new program that would lower an interest rate at the Discount Window – currently around 0.75 percent. The lack of action on that front pushed stocks into negative territory for the day.

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