Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement – 15Mar2020

The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States. Global financial conditions have also been significantly affected. Available economic data show that the U.S. economy came into this challenging period on a strong footing. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January indicates that the labor market remained strong through February and economic activity rose at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending rose at a moderate pace, business fixed investment and exports remained weak. More recently, the energy sector has come under stress. On a 12‑month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation have declined; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The effects of the coronavirus will weigh on economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook. In light of these developments, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to 1/4 percent. The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals. This action will help support economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation returning to the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective. Continue reading

Choosing A High Interest Savings Account

It’s good to save for a rainy day, and many people with spare cash available prefer the security of placing it in a savings account to the more risky but potentially more profitable choice of other investments such as stock market. Choosing a savings account would at first glance seem to be as simple as going for the one with the highest interest rate, but there are several other factors to take into account too.
The first choice to make is between opening an account with a high street bank, or going direct. High street banks give you the advantage of being able to manage your account with face to face contact with real people, and the ability to deposit cash and cheques easily. However, they have not historically offered the most competitive rates of interest, although this is changing slowly.
Direct savings accounts are operated solely online, by telephone, and by post with no possibility of visiting a bank branch to conduct business. This means they are cheaper to run for the banks, with less admin and staff costs, and so in turn they are willing to offer more attractive interest rates. Indeed, when internet direct savings accounts first appeared, some of them offered ten times the interest of a typical branch-based account, although the gap has narrowed considerably over the years. Continue reading

Refinancing Basics

Refinancing is a common practice adopted mostly for home loan facilities. Refinancing is nothing but to pay off the old debt and taking a new one. The major reason for refinancing is to reduce interest rate. Reduced interest rate is nothing but less to pay every month and thus increase in the monthly income at hand. Refinancing happens all over, the only point to be taken into consideration is the right time to take refinancing options.
There are many reasons for refinance, the major ones according to Fanniemae being a. To reduce the interest rate. b. To build equity faster c. Change the loan type to one that is more feasible and more attractive. e. Improved credit rating. F. To draw equity on home that is already built. The major reasons are only two and that is to reduce interest and to increase the equity.
The interest rate again depends on the discount point, which you can produce at the time of refinancing. For example if the interest rate is 7% then with a discount point the interest rate reduced to 6.75%. . With the array of different types of lenders and brokers, the borrower is at an advantage to choose his lender according to the interest and various schemed offered to him. Continue reading