Today, in its first meeting in 6 weeks, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged.
The Fed Fund Rate remains at a historical low, within a prescribed target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC said that, since June, the pace of economic recovery “has slowed”. Household spending is increasing but remains restrained because of high levels of unemployment, falling home values, and restrictive credit.
Today’s statement shows less economic optimism as compared to the prior year’s worth of FOMC statements dating back to June 2009. The Fed is looking for growth to be “more modest in the near-term” than its previous expectations.
Weaknesses aside, the Fed highlighted strengths in the economy, too:
- Growth is ongoing on a national level
- Inflation levels remain exceedingly low
- Business spending is rising
As expected, the Fed re-affirmed its plan to hold the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent “for an extended period”.
There were no surprises in the Fed’s statement so, as a result, the mortgage market’s reaction to the release has been neutral. Mortgage rates in California are unchanged this afternoon.
The FOMC’s next meeting is scheduled for September 21, 2010.