Prime Rate

also known as the Fed, National or United States Prime Rate,
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fifth FOMC Meeting of 2008 Adjourned: The Prime Rate Remains at 5.00%

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has just adjourned its fifth monetary policy meeting of 2008, and, in keeping with the latest forecast, the FOMC has voted to leave short-term interest rates at their current level. Therefore, the benchmark Federal Funds Target Rate will remain at 2.00%, and the Wall Street JournalĀ® Prime Rate (also known as the U.S., Fed or national Prime Rate) will remain at the current 5.00%.

Here's a clip from the press release that was issued by the FOMC earlier this afternoon:

"...The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 2 percent.

Economic activity expanded in the second quarter, partly reflecting growth in consumer spending and exports. However, labor markets have softened further and financial markets remain under considerable stress. Tight credit conditions, the ongoing housing contraction, and elevated energy prices are likely to weigh on economic growth over the next few quarters. Over time, the substantial easing of monetary policy, combined with ongoing measures to foster market liquidity, should help to promote moderate economic growth.

Inflation has been high, spurred by the earlier increases in the prices of energy and some other commodities, and some indicators of inflation expectations have been elevated. The Committee expects inflation to moderate later this year and next year, but the inflation outlook remains highly uncertain.

Although downside risks to growth remain, the upside risks to inflation are also of significant concern to the Committee. The Committee will continue to monitor economic and financial developments and will act as needed to promote sustainable economic growth and price stability.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Frederic S. Mishkin; Sandra Pianalto; Charles I. Plosser; Gary H. Stern; and Kevin M. Warsh. Voting against was Richard W. Fisher, who preferred an increase in the target for the federal funds rate at this meeting..."

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