Focus on Economic Data: U.S. Federal Reserve System and Monetary Policy - January 30, 2008
Glossary terms from:
A financial institution that provides various products and services to its customers, including checking and savings accounts, loans and currency exchange.
Monetary or non-monetary gain received because of an action taken or a decision made.
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.
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 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.
The opportunity to borrow money or to receive goods or services in return for a promise to pay later.
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.
The amount of money a person has left to save or spend after income taxes, Social Security taxes and other required deductions have been taken out of his or her pay.
The allocation or dividing up of the goods and services a society produces.
Goods intended to last for a period of more than three years.
An increase in real output as measured by real GDP or per capita real GDP.
The percentage of the total population aged 16 or over that is employed.
A bank's cash reserves beyond the required reserves, which can be loaned.
Trading a good or service for another good or service, or for money.
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.
Changes in the expenditures or tax revenues of the federal government, undertaken to promote full employment, price stability and reasonable rates of economic growth.
The natural rate of employment; generally considered to be about 93-95 percent of the labor force, allowing for frictional unemployment of 5-7 percent.
Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.
Funds raised through taxing and borrowing to pay for government expenditures.
Spending by all levels of government on goods and services; includes categories like military, schools and roads.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a calendar year.
Goods and services bought from sellers in another nation.
Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.
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 new idea or method.
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 people in a nation who are aged 16 or over and are employed or actively looking for work.
To grant someone the use of something, on condition that the object borrowed or its equivalent will be returned (often with interest, in the case of money).
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.
Exports minus imports.
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 weighted average of the prices of all goods and services in an economy; used to calculate inflation.
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.
Goods, often supplied by the government, for which use by one person does not reduce the quantity of the good available for others to use, and for which consumption cannot be limited to those who pay for the good.
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.
An exchange of goods or services for money.
Disposable income (income after taxes) minus consumption spending.
Money set aside for a future use that is held in easily-accessed accounts, such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.
A federal system of old-age, survivors', disability and hospital care (Medicare) insurance which requires employers to withhold (or transfer) wages from employees' paychecks and deposit that money in designated accounts.
Use money now to buy goods and services.
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.
Compulsory payments to governments by households and businesses.
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.
Money collected by the government from one group and given to others. Examples include Social Security benefits, unemployment insurance payments and agricultural subsidies.
The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.
The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labor force.
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.