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Fed Announces Plan to Preserve Low Interest Rates Even When Inflation Picks Up

  • On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced a new approach to inflation, allowing inflation to run above the 2 percent target before increasing interest rates
  • The move signals that interest rates on home and business loans will likely remain extremely low for several years
  • Fed also shifts stance on employment in response to higher jobless levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic
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Fed’s Main Street Lending Program Extended Through End of Year

  • Federal Reserve lending facilities that were set to expire on Sept. 30 extended through Dec. 31
  • Extension occurs amid rising jobless claims and severe contraction of U.S. GDP in second quarter of 2020
  • Substantial five-year loans offered at low interest rates, but with several restrictions
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Main Street Lending Program Modified to Expand Credit Access for Nonprofits

  • Federal Reserve Board modifies Main Street Lending Program to improve credit access for nonprofits such as educational services, hospitals, and social service organizations
  • New and expanded loan options available
  • Loan conditions generally mirror those of for-profit organizations
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U.S. Producer Prices Fall Unexpectedly

  • U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in June as weakness in services offset rising costs for energy goods
  • Deflation remains unlikely as the economy battles depressed demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Lower interest rates likely to continue
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Fed Buys More Corporate Bonds, But May Slow Purchases Soon

  • The Federal Reserve purchased $1.3 billion in corporate bonds in late June, on top of other purchases earlier in the month
  • The purchases are part of an effort to keep interest rates low and allow large companies to borrow money by selling corporate debt
  • The Fed has slowed such purchases in recent weeks and may stop altogether if the markets remain healthy
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