Fed: Things Are Getting Better. But They're Still Bad. : Planet Money The jobs picture is improving, the Fed's open-market committee said. But the overall jobs picture is still so weak that the Fed plans to keep ultra-low rates in place for an extended period.
NPR logo Fed: Things Are Getting Better. But They're Still Bad.

Fed: Things Are Getting Better. But They're Still Bad.

Here, more or less, is what the Fed's open market committee said today in its monthly statement:

The jobs picture is getting better. People are spending a bit more money, and companies are buying more stuff.

But there's a difference between getting better and good. And we're still a long way from good: Unemployment is still high, it's tough to get a loan from the bank, and employers aren't in a hurry to hire more people.

We think unemployment's going to stay high and inflation's going to stay low for a while yet.

So we're going to keep America flooded with so much money that banks are willing to give each other overnight loans for little or no interest. And we'll probably make sure it stays that way for an extended period of time.

Nine of us on the committee agree on this stuff. One of us thinks we should stop saying we're going to keep things this way for an extended period. He's worried that we may be fueling another bubble with all this easy money.

By the way, financial markets are basically working again, so we're winding down those special programs we started when things were super crazy. We know everybody's interested in what we're going to do with that trillion dollars of mortgage bonds we bought recently. But we're not going to say anything about when or how we're going to unload those.