Date Added: Jun 2010
In the United States, the Federal Reserve sets monetary policy by targeting the federal funds rate. This process usually involves lowering short-term interest rates when economic growth is weak and raising them when economic growth is strong. A wide class of economic models has shown that, in theory, conducting policy in this way allows the economy to employ resources efficiently. In addition, many empirical studies have shown that most central banks actually behave in this manner. In normal times, it is fairly easy for the central bank to conduct policy in this fashion.