FOMC Minutes – bullet points

fomc The minutes of the March 16th Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were released this afternoon. Below are the highlights:

  • nearly all of the Fed’s special liquidity programs are closed and there are no market strains
  • spreads on ABS (asset-backed securities) remains tight
  • Fed’s balance sheet grew to $2.3 trillion
  • All maturing agency debt and agency MBS (mortgage-backed securities) are not being replaced. Spreads on agency MBS were little changed.
  • So far, maturing Treasuring securities are being reinvested into newly issued Treasury securities – Committee members want this practice to continue for now
  • economic activity expanding at moderate pace in early 2010
  • labor market stabilizing
  • consumer spending improving
  • housing activity leveling out
  • wages and salaries fell sharply last year
  • activity in advanced foreign economies was mixed in the fourth quarter
  • total bank credit contracted substantially in January and February
  • M2 decreased in January – partly due to technical reasons associated with FDIC insurance fee changes
  • staff made modest downward adjustments on GDP growth
  • core PCE price inflation for 2010 and 2011 revised slightly lower
  • real disposable income in January was unchanged from one-year ago level
  • no final decisions were made regarding exit strategy tools at this meeting
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