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How the Fed has voted on interest rates in emojis and quotes

U.S. Federal Reserve chair Yellen speaks to the Economic Club of New York in New York
Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Don’t rate the raters.
By Sarah Slobin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The US Federal Reserve today announced it was leaving interest rates unchanged, releasing a statement about its view of the health of the economy. We decided to step back, and with the help of emoji and some quotes excerpted from the Fed’s statements, recap just how positive its outlook for the economy has been since the beginning of last year.

Jan. 28, 2015: ”The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate….Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow.”


March 18, 2015: “The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate…..Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices.”


April 29, 2015: ”The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate….Business fixed investment softened, the recovery in the housing sector remained slow, and exports declined.”


June 17, 2015: ”The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate….The pace of job gains picked up while the unemployment rate remained steady.”


July 29, 2015: ”The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate….The labor market continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year.”


Sept. 17, 2015: ”The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate….Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat.”


Oct. 28, 2015: ”The current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate….We’re monitoring global economic and financial developments.”


Dec. 16, 2015: ”We’ve decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/4 to 1/2 percent….Household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing at solid rates in recent months, and the housing sector has improved further; however, net exports have been soft.”


Jan. 27, 2016: ”We’ve decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent….Labor market conditions improved further even as economic growth slowed late last year.”


March 16, 2016: ”We’ve decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent….A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market.”


April 27, 2016: “We’ve decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent….Growth in household spending has moderated, although households’ real income has risen at a solid rate and consumer sentiment remains high.”


June 15, 2016: ”We’ve decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1/4 to 1/2 percent….The pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed while growth in economic activity appears to have picked up.”


Check back with us in July, when the Fed’s Open Market Committee next meets to decide on rates and discuss its view on the US economy!

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