During the period, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee sustained the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25 - 2.5%. Along with their rate plan, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) monetary policy has been mostly restrictive over the past several years. The Fed has been draining total reserves of depository institutions at a rate of nearly $20 billion per month since August 2014. The federal funds rate is in a neutral range relative to other measures of interest rates as well as inflationary trends. The Monetary Base topped at slightly over $4 trillion in August 2014, and as of December 2018 has fallen to just over $3.4 trillion. At the March 20, 2019 Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (the Committee) meeting, the Committee released the following statement, in part: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January indicates that the labor market remains strong, but that growth of economic activity has slowed from its solid rate in the fourth quarter… Recent indicators point to slower growth of household spending and business fixed investment in the first quarter. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation has declined, largely as a result of lower energy prices; inflation for items other than food and energy remains near 2 percent… The Committee continues to view sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes. In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.”____________________________
Information contained herein was obtained from recognized statistical services and other sources believed to be reliable and we therefore cannot make any representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Any statements not of a factual nature constitute opinions which are subject to change without notice.
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