Fed holding rates, unwinding liquidity
Wednesday Jan. 27, 2010
Posted 4 p.m. EDT
The Federal Open Market Committee wrapped up its two-day meeting today, holding rates steady and indicating that will remain the case. Specifically, the Fed made no changes to its much followed statement about "exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period."
The statement did reaffirm the Fed's commitment to reel in some of the liquidity with several facilities set to expire on schedule Feb. 1 and the Term Auction Facility now slated to sunset on March 8. There was no change to the mortgage-backed securities program, still on target for wrap at the end of the first quarter.
Regarding the economy, the Fed was more specific with regard to household spending, which now "is" rather than "appears to be" expanding at a moderate rate, and on business investment, where "equipment and software appears to be picking up, but investment in structures is still contracting." The Fed also stated that "bank lending continues to contract," but "the pace of economic recovery is likely to be moderate for a time."
There was one nay vote, with the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Thomas Hoenig believing that "the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted."