March 18, 2004

FED LEAVES KEY RATE UNCHANGED

The Federal Open Market Committee yesterday kept its target for the federal funds rate unchanged at 1 percent. "The Committee continues to believe that an accommodative stance of monetary policy, coupled with robust underlying growth in productivity, is providing important ongoing support to economic activity," the Fed said in a statement. "The evidence accumulated over the intermeeting period indicates that output is continuing to expand at a solid pace. Although job losses have slowed, new hiring has lagged. Increases in core consumer prices are muted and expected to remain low."

"The Committee perceives the upside and downside risks to the attainment of sustainable growth for the next few quarters are roughly equal," the statement continued. "The probability of an unwelcome fall in inflation has diminished in recent months and now appears almost equal to that of a rise in inflation. With inflation quite low and resource use slack, the Committee believes that it can be patient in removing its policy accommodation."

Posted by gandlwoods at March 18, 2004 07:54 AM