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Text of the US Fed’s statement after its meeting on Wednesday

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-03-2017 AP

Washington: Below is the statement the Fed released Wednesday after its policy meeting ended:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met in February indicates that the labour market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace. Job gains remained solid and the unemployment rate was little changed in recent months.

Household spending has continued to rise moderately while business fixed investment appears to have firmed somewhat. Inflation has increased in recent quarters, moving close to the Committee’s 2% longer-run objective; excluding energy and food prices, inflation was little changed and continued to run somewhat below 2%. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

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Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labour market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will stabilize around 2% over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

In view of realized and expected labour market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3/4 to 1%. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labour market conditions and a sustained return to 2% inflation.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labour market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

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The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, vice-chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Jerome H. Powell; and Daniel K. Tarullo. Voting against the action was Neel Kashkari, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the existing target range for the federal funds rate.

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