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December 21, 2000

s The Federal Open Market Committee met on Dec. 19 and decided to
leave its target for the federal funds rate unchanged at 6.5 percent. In
announcing this decision, the FOMC released the following statement:
The drag on demand and profits from rising energy costs, as
well as eroding consumer confidence, reports of substantial
shortfalls in sales and earnings, and stress in some segments
of the financial markets suggest that economic growth may be
slowing further. While some inflation risks persist, they are
diminished by the more moderate pace of economic activity
and by the absence of any indication that longer-term inflation
expectations have increased. The Committee will continue
to monitor closely the evolving economic situation. [T]he
Committee consequently believes that the risks are weighted
mainly toward conditions that may generate economic weakness
in the foreseeable future.
s According to the final estimate, real GDP grew at a revised 2.2
percent annual rate during the third quarter. The final estimate
is 0.2 percentage points less than the preliminary estimate and
0.5 percentage points below the advance estimate.
s November housing starts were at an annual rate of 1,562,000 units,
2.2 percent more than October’s rate but 6.1 percent less than a
year earlier.
United States Financial Data will not be published next week.
All data are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated.
U.S. Financial Data is published weekly by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of
St. Louis. For more information on data, please call (314) 444-8590. To be added to the mailing
list, please call (314) 444-8808 or (314) 444-8809.
Information in this publication is also included in the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) electronic
bulletin board at (314) 621-1824 or internet World Wide Web server at

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102