federal funds rate

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Federal funds rate

The interest rate that banks with excess reserves at a Federal Reserve district bank charge other banks that need overnight loans. The Fed funds rate, as it is called, often points to the direction of US interest rates. The most sensitive indicator of the direction of interest rates, since it is set daily by the market, unlike the prime rate and the discount rate.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Federal Funds Rate

The interest rate at which fed funds are lent to a bank. Fed funds refer to the amount of money that a commercial bank in the United States has in excess of its reserve requirement that is deposited at the Federal Reserve Bank of their district. Federal funds are available for lending to other banks on an overnight basis. The FOMC sets a target for the federal funds rate, but the actual interest rates at which banks lend to one another are set by market forces. Generally speaking, however, when one speaks of the Fed raising or lowering "interest rates," this refers to the federal funds rate.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

federal funds rate

The rate of interest on overnight loans of excess reserves made among commercial banks. Because the Federal Reserve has significant control over the availability of federal funds, the rate is considered an important indicator of Federal Reserve monetary policy and the future direction of other interest rates. A declining federal funds rate may indicate that the Federal Reserve has decided to stimulate the economy by releasing reserves into the banking system. Care is needed in using this indicator, however, because a declining rate may simply mean that the banks have weak demand for commercial loans and little need for borrowing reserves.
Case Study The Federal Reserve announced in early December 2001 it was lowering its target federal funds rate from 2.00% to 1.75%, the lowest level in 40 years. The quarter-point decline represented the 11th reduction in the benchmark short-term interest rate since the beginning of the year and established a target rate lower than the rate of inflation. The federal funds rate represents the rate that banks pay to borrow reserves from other banks. This rate influences other short-term rates, including the prime rate and the interest rate on U.S. Treasury bills. The aggressive Federal Reserve policy toward reducing interest rates was intended to stimulate a weak economy that had produced rising unemployment and business failures, especially following the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. The Federal Reserve has tools available to affect short-term interest rates but not long-term rates, which are influenced by inflation expectations of lenders and borrowers. Thus, an aggressive policy by the Federal Reserve to reduce short-term rates and stimulate the economy can actually result in higher long-term rates as investors become concerned that increased economic activity will be accompanied by rising inflation.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The vector, X, includes the change in private non-farm employment, PCE inflation, and the cumulative sum of the expected change in the future federal funds rates as defined in the first part of the Appendix.
This article points out that discrete changes to the target federal funds rate are a clear source of predictable change in the monthly or quarterly average of the daily federal funds rates.
Thus, by affecting expectations about future federal funds rates (future short-term interest rates), the FOMC can affect current long term rates.
Federal Reserve policy through this period has been required to react to a constantly evolving set of economic forces, often at variance with historical relationships, changing federal funds rates when events appeared to threaten our prosperity, and refraining from action when that appeared warranted.
Federal funds rates are projected at year-end to be 6%; three-month Treasury bills will maintain a 5.85% rate; and 30-year Treasury bonds may shift from 7.7% in the first quarter to 7.6% by year-end.
On day 1, banks learn that the federal funds rates for today and the remaining days of the period will increase a total of 4%.
(11) This finding confirms the need for including past federal funds rates in a Taylor rule (as we do in equation (2)) in models like ours.
An important empirical conclusion in this paper is that the market was better able to anticipate changes in the target federal funds rates after February 1994.
Look for a federal funds rates of 3.25% by the end of 1992 and a gradual rise to 3.5% in 1993.
In the three reserve maintenance periods completed since the August meeting, adjustment plus seasonal borrowing averaged about $800 million, an amount inflated by circumstances that gave rise to sharply higher federal funds rates and unusually heavy adjustment credit extensions on the final day of each of these maintenance periods.
[GRAPHICS OMITTED] Anticipated Target Federal Funds Rates (calculated January 27, 2004) February 1-2 meeting Target federal funds rate 2.25% 2.50% 2.75% Implied probability (c) 0.0% 98.5% 1.5% March 22 meeting Target federal funds rate 2.25% 2.50% 2.75% 3.00% Implied probability (d) 0.4% 4.5% 85.3% 9.8% May 3 meeting Target federal funds rate 2.50% 2.75% 3.00% 3.25% Implied probability (e) 3.4% 13.4% 66.2% 17.1% (a.) Weekly average of daily figures.

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