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VOL. 44 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 3, 2020

Federal Reserve last month saw a declining risk of recession

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve's policymaking committee saw much less risk of recession at its most recent meeting last month, when it kept interest rates steady after three straight cuts and signaled that it expected to keep low rates unchanged through this year.

Minutes of the December meeting, released Friday, showed that Fed officials supported keeping rates in a low range of 1.5% to 1.75% to cushion the U.S. economy from slow global growth and lingering trade tensions. Officials were also concerned that inflation still hadn't reached its target of 2%.

Still, many Fed policymakers said at the Dec. 10-11 meeting that the risks of a U.S.-China trade war had diminished and that the probability of a disruptive Brexit had also declined. The meeting occurred two days before the U.S. and China reached a preliminary trade deal, though press reports had already suggested that an agreement was near.

Fed officials also noted that the U.S. economy was "showing resilience" despite the trade fight and weak global economy, the minutes said. Changes in interest rates also "suggested that the likelihood of a recession occurring over the medium term had fallen noticeably in recent months."

Since last month's meeting, however, tensions have flared in the Middle East as the United States has struck Iranian forces in Iraq. That escalated oil prices on Friday and caused the U.S. stock market to decline.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0