Focus on Economic Data: The Federal Reserve System and Monetary Policy - May 2001
Glossary terms from:
A financial institution that provides various products and services to its customers, including checking and savings accounts, loans and currency exchange.
Board of Governors
The Federal Reserve's governing and monetary policy-making body; consists of seven governors appointed by the President to staggered 14-year terms.
A certificate of indebtedness issued by a government or a publicly held corporation, promising to repay borrowed money to the lender at a fixed rate of interest and at a specified time.
To receive and use something belonging to somebody else, with the intention of returning or repaying it--often with interest in the case of borrowed money.
Any activity or organization that produces or exchanges goods or services for a profit.
In the context of credit transactions, capacity is one of the Three Cs of Credit. It is an indicator of how creditworthy a prospective borrower is likely to be, as determined by the borrower's current and future earnings relative to current debt. High earnings and low debt, for example, indicate a strong capacity to make payments on the loan in question.
Resources and goods made and used to produce other goods and services. Examples include buildings, machinery, tools and equipment. In the context of credit transactions, capital is one of the Three Cs of Credit. It is an indicator of how creditworthy a prospective borrower is likely to be as determined by the borrower's current financial assets and net worth.
A written order to a financial institution directing the financial institution to pay a stated amount of money, as instructed, from the customer's account.
Attempts by two or more individuals or organizations to acquire the same goods, services, or productive and financial resources. Consumers compete with other consumers for goods and services. Producers compete with other producers for sales to consumers.
A result or effect of an action or decision; may be positive or negative.
People who use goods and services to satisfy their personal needs and not for resale or in the production of other goods and services.
Spending by households on goods and services. The process of buying and using goods and services.
An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something. The effort, loss or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.
The money in circulation in any country.
The quantity of a good or service that buyers are willing and able to buy at all possible prices during a period of time.
The interest rate the Federal Reserve charges commercial banks for loans.
An increase in real output as measured by real GDP or per capita real GDP.
The study of how people, firms and societies choose to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses.
One who draws upon his or her skills and initiative to launch a new business venture with the aim of making a profit. Often a risk-taker, inclined to see opportunity when others do not.
Stock, both common and preferred. Also, the value of mortgaged property after accounting for charges against it or money owed.
A bank's cash reserves beyond the required reserves, which can be loaned.
Goods and services produced in one nation and sold in other nations.
The central bank of the United States. Its main function is controlling the money supply through monetary policy. The Federal Reserve System divides the country into 12 districts, each with its own Federal Reserve bank. Each district bank is directed by its nine-person board of directors. The Board of Governors, which is made up of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to 14-year terms, directs the nation's monetary policy and the overall activities of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee is the official policy-making body; it is made up of the members of the Board of Governors and five of the district bank presidents.
Economic units that demand productive resources from households and supply goods and services to households and government agencies.
Something a person or organization plans to achieve in the future; an aim or desired result.
Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.
Accommodation in houses, apartments, etc.
A rise in the general or average price level of all the goods and services produced in an economy. Can be caused by pressure from the demand side of the market (demand-pull inflation) or pressure from the supply side of the market (cost-push inflation).
A practice or arrangement whereby a company provides a guarantee of compensation for specified forms of loss, damage, injury or death. People obtain such guarantees by buying insurance policies, for which they pay premiums. The process allows for the spreading out of risk over a pool of insurance policyholders, with the expectation that only a few policholders will actually experience losses for which claims must be made. Types of insurance include automobile, health, renter's, homeowner's, disability and life.
Money paid regularly, at a particular rate, for the use of borrowed money.
The price paid for using someone else's money, expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed.
An itemized list of goods held by a person or business. Also a quantity of goods held in stock.
The purchase of capital goods (including machinery, technology or new buildings) that are used to produce goods and services. In personal finance, the amount of money invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment instruments.
The quantity and quality of human effort available to produce goods and services.
The study of economics concerned with the economy as a whole, involving aggregate demand, aggregate supply, and monetary and fiscal policy.
Places, institutions or technological arrangements where or by means of which goods or services are exchanged. Also, the set of all sale and purchase transactions that affect the price of some good or service.
Changes in the supply of money and the availability of credit initiated by a nation's central bank to promote price stability, full employment and reasonable rates of economic growth.
Anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services; serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a standard of value. Characteristics of money are portability, stability in value, uniformity, durability and acceptance.
Narrowly defined by economists as currency in the hands of the public plus checking-type deposits; also called M1. Other definitions of the money supply (M2, M3) include various savings deposits, money market deposits and money market mutual fund balances.
The amount of money that people pay when they buy a good or service; the amount they receive when they sell a good or service.
The absence of inflation or deflation; a broad social goal and criterion for measuring the performance of an economic system.
A good or service that can be used to satisfy a want.
A process of manufacturing, growing, designing, or otherwise using productive resources to create goods or services used to to satisfy a want.
The amount of output (goods and services) produced per unit of input (productive resources) used.
Income received for entrepreneurial skills and risk taking, calculated by subtracting all of a firm's explicit and implicit costs from its total revenues.
In a credit arrangement, the total amount spent during the billing cycle.
A decline in the rate of national economic activity, usually measured by a decline in real GDP for at least two consecutive quarters (i.e., six months).
The fraction of banks' deposits that they are required by law to keep on hand or with the Federal Reserve.
The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.
Earnings from an investment, usually expressed as an annual percentage.
The chance of losing money.
Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.
An ownership share or shares of ownership in a corporation.
The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time.
Tools of the Federal Reserve
The tools of the Federal Reserve are wide-ranging. They include: Open Market Operations, Overnight Lending Through the Discount Window, The New Term Auction Facility, and Changing the federal funds rate target to respond to macroeconomic risk.
The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.
The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.
Payments for labor services that are directly tied to time worked, or to the number of units of output produced.
Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.
People employed to do work, producing goods and services.