Federal Funds Rate Target; Discount Rate Increased by 25 Basis Points
August 25, 1999
Circular No. 11179

To All Depository Institutions and Others Concerned in the Second Federal Reserve District:

Following is the statement issued at the close of the August 24 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC):

The Federal Open Market Committee today voted to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 5 ¼ percent. In a related action, the Board of Governors approved a 25 basis point increase in the discount rate to 4 ¾ percent.

With financial markets functioning more normally, and with persistent strength in domestic demand, foreign economies firming and labor markets remaining very tight, the degree of monetary ease required to address the global financial market turmoil of last fall is no longer consistent with sustained, noninflationary, economic expansion.

Today's increase in the federal funds rate, together with the policy action in June and the firming of conditions more generally in U.S. financial markets over recent months, should markedly diminish the risk of rising inflation going forward. As a consequence, the directive the Federal Open Market Committee adopted is symmetrical with regard to the outlook for policy over the near term.

In taking the discount rate action, the Federal Reserve Board approved requests submitted by the boards of directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. The discount rate is the interest rate that is charged depository institutions when they borrow from their district Federal Reserve Banks.