There will be no immediate change in the Federal Reserve's recession fighting efforts, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee stated as it wrapped up its two-day June meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The Fed OMC in its statement said it will leave the target for its key overnight funds rate between 0% and 0.25%, adding that it "continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period."
The statement lacked any hint at a so-called "exit strategy" though which the Fed, it is believed, must eventually begin raising interest rates to control inflation. For the moment, inflation does not appear to be a concern. Said the statement, "The prices of energy and other commodities have risen of late. However, substantial resource slack is likely to dampen cost pressures, and the Committee expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time."
Regarding the economy, the OMC said, "Conditions in financial markets have generally improved in recent months. Household spending has shown further signs of stabilizing but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Businesses are cutting back on fixed investment and staffing but appear to be making progress in bringing inventory stocks into better alignment with sales. "
Unlike previous recent FOMC statements, there was no reference to the danger of deflation. However, the statement said evidence during recent weeks "suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing." It added, "Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the committee continues to anticipate that policy actions to stabilize financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth in a context of price stability."
The committee reiterated its previous commitments for the Fed to purchase up to $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt by the end of the year. It also said the Fed will buy up to $300 billion of Treasury securities by autumn.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked on the news, giving up gains of more than 1% during earlier trading. The S&P and NASDAQ also took legs downward. Bond yields moved higher.