At the conclusion of the meeting, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was authorized and directed, until instructed otherwise by the Committee, to execute transactions in the System Account in accordance with the following domestic policy directive.

The information reviewed at this meeting suggests that the economy has been growing rather slowly in recent months. Nonfarm payroll employment continued to expand moderately in December, and the civilian unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent. Industrial production increased only slightly further in the fourth quarter. Growth of consumer spending was modest, on balance, over the past several months. Housing starts rebounded in November from a sizable October decline. Orders for nondefense capital goods point to a moderation in the expansion of spending on business equipment, and nonresidential construction has risen appreciably further. The nominal deficit on U.S. trade in goods and services narrowed in October from its average rate in the third quarter. There has been no clear change in underlying inflation trends.

Most market interest rates have declined somewhat since the Committee meeting on December 19. In foreign exchange markets, the trade-weighted value of the dollar in terms of the other G-10 currencies has risen further over the intermeeting period.

Growth of M2 and M3 strengthened in December and January. From the third quarter to the fourth quarter, M2 expanded in the upper half of its range and M3 grew at the upper end of its range. Growth in total domestic nonfinancial debt has been moderate in recent months, placing this aggregate near the midpoint of its monitoring range for the year.

The Federal Open Market Committee seeks monetary and financial conditions that will foster price stability and promote sustainable growth in output. In furtherance of these objectives, the Committee at this meeting established ranges for growth of M2 and M3 of 1 to 5 percent and 2 to 6 percent respectively, measured from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. The monitoring range for growth of total domestic nonfinancial debt was set at 3 to 7 percent for the year. The behavior of the monetary aggregates will continue to be evaluated in the light of progress toward price level stability, movements in their velocities, and developments in the economy and financial markets.

In the implementation of policy for the immediate future, the Committee seeks to decrease slightly the existing degree of pressure on reserve positions, taking account of a possible reduction in the discount rate. In the context of the Committee's long-run objectives for price stability and sustainable economic growth, and giving careful consideration to economic, financial, and monetary developments, slightly greater reserve restraint or slightly lesser reserve restraint would be acceptable in the intermeeting period. The contemplated reserve conditions are expected to be consistent with moderate growth in M2 and M3 over coming months. Article Tags: Promote Sustainable Growth, Promote Sustainable, Sustainable Growth, Fourth Quarter, Third Quarter


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