Here’s What the Public Can Expect From the Federal Reserve

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“Overall, if we were in a car, you might say we’re motoring along, but well under the speed limit. The fact that we’re cruising at a moderate speed instead of still stuck in the ditch is due in part to the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented efforts to keep interest rates low. We may not be getting there as fast as we’d like, but we’re definitely moving in the right direction.”

If the economy were a car, Congress would be in the driver’s seat and the U.S. Federal Reserve would be behind it, pushing.

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In May, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams delivered a speech on the economy outlook and monetary policy that outlined one basic idea: we’re moving in the right direction. Like other members of the Federal Reserve System, Williams built a case for the improving health housing market — 45 percent increase in new housing construction starts, 16.6 percent increase in residential construction outlays, 29 percent increase in home sales, and a 10.2 percent increase in home prices — and suggested that businesses, though still cautious, are increasing both spending and hiring.

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