Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement - Jan 2021

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Thursday, January 28, 2021 / 03:47AM / By US SEC / Header Image Credit: Ecographics

 

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The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. The pace of the recovery in economic activity and employment has moderated in recent months, with weakness concentrated in the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic. Weaker demand and earlier declines in oil prices have been holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

 

The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations. The ongoing public health crisis continues to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook.

 

The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation running persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer‑term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent.

 

The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee's assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.

 

In addition, the Federal Reserve will continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed securities by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee's maximum employment and price stability goals. These asset purchases help foster smooth market functioning and accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses.

 

In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee's goals. The Committee's assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.

 

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Thomas I. Barkin; Raphael W. Bostic; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Mary C. Daly; Charles L. Evans; Randal K. Quarles; and Christopher J. Waller.

 

 

Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation

 

The Federal Reserve has made the following decisions to implement the monetary policy stance announced by the Federal Open Market Committee in its statement on January 27, 2021:

  • The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System voted unanimously to maintain the interest rate paid on required and excess reserve balances at 0.10 percent, effective January 28, 2021.
  • As part of its policy decision, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to authorize and direct the Open Market Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, until instructed otherwise, to execute transactions in the System Open Market Account in accordance with the following domestic policy directive:

 

"Effective January 28, 2021, the Federal Open Market Committee directs the Desk to:

    • Undertake open market operations as necessary to maintain the federal funds rate in a target range of 0 to 1/4 percent.
    • Increase the System Open Market Account holdings of Treasury securities by $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by $40 billion per month.
    • Increase holdings of Treasury securities and agency MBS by additional amounts and purchase agency commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) as needed to sustain smooth functioning of markets for these securities.
    • Conduct repurchase agreement operations to support effective policy implementation and the smooth functioning of short-term U.S. dollar funding markets.
    • Conduct overnight reverse repurchase agreement operations at an offering rate of 0.00 percent and with a per-counterparty limit of $30 billion per day; the per-counterparty limit can be temporarily increased at the discretion of the Chair.
    • Roll over at auction all principal payments from the Federal Reserve's holdings of Treasury securities and reinvest all principal payments from the Federal Reserve's holdings of agency debt and agency MBS in agency MBS.
    • Allow modest deviations from stated amounts for purchases and reinvestments, if needed for operational reasons.
    • Engage in dollar roll and coupon swap transactions as necessary to facilitate settlement of the Federal Reserve's agency MBS transactions."
  • In a related action, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System voted unanimously to approve the establishment of the primary credit rate at the existing level of 0.25 percent. 

 

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