federal reserve

Timeline: The federal funds rate at work


1980 Federal Funds Rate 1980 Federal Funds Rate 1984 Federal Funds Rate 2003 Federal Funds Rate 2008 Federal Funds Rate 2012 Federal Funds Rate 2007 Federal Funds Rate 1993 Federal Funds Rate 1981 Federal Funds Rate 1974 Federal Funds Rate

Year: 2013

Rate: Remains in a range of zero percent to 0.25 percent

The details: There are still more Americans out of work in the U.S. than when the recession began, although the unemployment rate drops to a five-year low of 7 percent. Consumer confidence is on the rise in December as the year ends.

The Fed announces it will begin to taper its stimulus program, cutting monthly asset purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion. It says it will likely keep the low federal funds rate "well past the time" the unemployment rate drops below 6.5 percent.

"The Fed has recognized that the economy is no longer a basket case," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. "But they’re not ready to commit to cutting all the strings. That’s why they’re tapering."



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