The Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate within its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC noted that the U.S. economy “has continued to pick up” since the September FOMC meeting and that housing market activity has increased.
It’s the third consecutive post-FOMC statement in which the Fed speaks optimistically about the U.S. economy — a signal that the recession is likely over.
The economy isn’t without threats, however, and the Fed identified several in its announcement, including:
- Ongoing job losses for American workers
- Reduced fixed investment by businesses
- Ongoing challenges for the financial markets
The overall tone remained positive, however, as inflation appears to be held in check.
Also in its statement, the Fed confirmed its plan to hold the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent “for an extended period” and to honor its $1.25 trillion commitment to the mortgage bond market.
The Fed plans to wind down its mortgage market support over the next 5 months, reaffirming its March 2010 exit date. For now, Fed support helps hold mortgage rates down.
Mortgage market reaction to the Fed’s press release is negative overall. Mortgage rates are rising.
The FOMC’s next scheduled meeting is December 15-16, 2009.