Definition of Federal Funds Rate

Financial Terms Beginning with F

What is the Federal Funds Rate

The federal funds rate refers to the interest rate at which depository institutions lend and borrow funds held at the US Federal Reserve to meet their reserve requirements. It serves as a benchmark for short-term interest rates in the economy and influences various borrowing and lending rates, making it a crucial tool for monetary policy. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) adjusts the federal funds rate to regulate economic growth, inflation and employment. As a key driver of interest rates, understanding the federal funds rate is essential for investors, borrowers and policymakers alike.

Tool of the US Federal Reserve

The US Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, uses the federal funds rate to control the money supply and promote stability in the financial system. By raising or lowering the federal funds rate, the US Federal Reserve influences the cost of borrowing money, which impacts consumer spending, business investment and overall economic activity. This makes the federal funds rate a critical factor for individuals and businesses when considering loans, mortgages, credit cards and other forms of borrowing.

Adjusting the Federal Funds Rate

To set the federal funds rate, the US Federal Reserve engages in open market operations, primarily through buying or selling of US government securities in the open market. When the Fed wants to lower the federal funds rate, it purchases government securities, injecting money into the banking system and increasing the supply of available funds. Conversely, when the Fed wants to raise the federal funds rate, it sells government securities, reducing the money supply and tightening borrowing conditions.

Changes in the Federal Funds Rate

The federal funds rate has a cascading effect on various interest rates in the economy. For instance, changes in the federal funds rate influence prime rates, which are the rates banks charge their most creditworthy customers. Moreover, the federal funds rate affects interest rates on savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts and other short-term investments. Bond yields, mortgage rates and car loan rates also tend to be influenced by movements in the federal funds rate.

Federal Funds Rate and Other Assets

Monitoring the federal funds rate is vital for investors, as it can impact the performance of different asset classes. Stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities often experience price movements in response to changes in interest rates. Additionally, understanding the outlook for the federal funds rate can assist investors in assessing the overall direction of the economy and making informed investment decisions.

Final Thoughts on the Federal Funds Rate

In conclusion, the federal funds rate plays a pivotal role in shaping interest rates across the economy. By adjusting this key benchmark, the US Federal Reserve influences borrowing costs, economic activity and inflation. As investors, borrowers and policymakers, keeping a close eye on the federal funds rate allows for better decision-making and understanding of the broader economic landscape.

GlobEx Markets Financial Dictionary of Terms, Phrases and Concepts

The GlobEx Markets financial dictionary is a reference resource that provides the definitions and explanations of various financial terms, phrases and concepts that are used in international finance and global investing. It includes a broad range of financial terms, such as those related to stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, options, futures, crypto and much more.

A financial dictionary can be useful for anyone who wants to learn more about finance and investing, or who works in the financial industry. It can help clarify the meaning of technical terms and the language used in financial publications, reports and other sources.

Benefits of the GlobEx Markets Financial Dictionary

There are several benefits to using the GlobEx Markets financial dictionary, including:

  • Clarifying Technical Terminology: The financial world is filled with complex terms and language that can be confusing to those who are not familiar with it. A financial dictionary can help clarify the meaning of technical terms and make them more understandable.
  • Improving Financial Literacy: By learning the meaning of financial terms, phrases and concepts, you can improve your overall financial literacy and gain a better understanding of the workings of the financial world.
  • Enhancing Communication: A financial dictionary can help improve communication among financial professionals by ensuring that everyone is using the same terminology, phrases and concepts.
  • Supporting Research: When conducting financial research or analysis, a financial dictionary can be a valuable resource for identifying and understanding key terms, phrases and concepts.
  • Facilitating Decision-Making: Understanding financial terms, phrases and concepts can help you make better-informed financial decisions, whether you are managing your own finances or making decisions on behalf of an organization.

Overall, the GlobEx Markets financial dictionary can help improve your understanding of international finance and global investing. It is a valuable tool for anyone who works in the financial industry or who wants to improve their financial literacy.

Related Investment Terms

Inflation Risk

Interest Rate Risk

US Government Bond

View of NYC between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge
New York, New York