Excerpt from Federal Reserve Press Release on December Press Conference with Chairwoman Janet Yellen:
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation is expected to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. The Committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.
Sixty-nine percent of adults report that they are either “living comfortably” or “doing okay,” compared to 65 percent in 2014 and 62 percent in 2013. However, 31 percent, or approximately 76 million adults, are either “struggling to get by” or are “just getting by.”
Thirty-two percent of adults report that their income varies to some degree from month to month, and 43 percent report that their monthly expenses vary to some degree. Forty-two percent of those with volatile incomes or expenses say that they have struggled to pay their bills at times because of this volatility.
Forty-six percent of adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money (47 percent in 2014).
Twenty-one percent of those who borrowed to attend a for-profit institution are behind on their loan payments. Among those who borrowed to attend a public or not-for-profit institution, 7 percent and 5 percent are behind on their payments, respectively.
Thirty-one percent of non-retired respondents report that they have no retirement savings or pen- 2 Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 2015 sion at all, including 27 percent of non-retired respondents age 60 or older.
Excerpt from June Press Conference with Chairwoman Janet Yellen:
“While the general picture of the labor market is largely positive, some people are still struggling. Unemployment rates rose more during the recession for African Americans and Hispanics than for the nation overall, and even though those rates have also come down by more during the economic expansion, unemployment remains higher for these groups. Unfortunately, those gaps have not narrowed noticeably relative to where they were before the recession. Unemployment rates for young African American and Hispanic men without a college degree remain especially high, and one important benefit from further improvement in the labor market would be increased job opportunities for these men and other groups that currently still experience high unemployment.”
Excerpt from March Press Conference with Chairwoman Janet Yellen:
“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen. However, global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.”
Press release via Federal Reserve’s website and video from Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s press conference:
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace. Household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing moderately, and the housing sector has improved further; however, net exports have been soft. The labor market continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment. On balance, labor market indicators show that underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee’s longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation moved lower; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term. Nonetheless, the Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced but is monitoring developments abroad. Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.
To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.
The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.
When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent. The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Dennis P. Lockhart; Jerome H. Powell; Daniel K. Tarullo; and John C. Williams. Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who preferred to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at this meeting.