Today, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within in its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC noted that, since March, the U.S. economy “has continued to strengthen” and that the jobs markets “is beginning to improve”. This is a step up from the last meeting after which the Fed said jobs were “stabilizing”.
It also reiterated that business spending “has risen significantly”.
Today’s statement marks the 7th straight press release in which the Fed shows optimism for the U.S. economy. Furthermore, the Fed has now closed all but one of the programs it created to support markets during last year’s financial crisis.
Threats remain to growth, however. The Fed fingered a few:
- Employers are reluctant to hire new workers
- High unemployment threatens consumer spending
- Consumer credit (still) remains tight
Also in its statement, the Fed re-acknowledged its plan to hold the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent “for an extended period”. This was expected.
Overall, the statement’s tone was positive and the Fed noted that inflation is within tolerance.
Mortgage market reaction has been muted thus far. Mortgage rates in Walnut Creek are unchanged post-FOMC.
The FOMC’s next scheduled meeting is a 2-day affair, June 22-23, 2010. The 55-day span between meetings will be the FOMC’s longest of 2010.