Glossary of Economic Terms: I

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impact lag

The time it takes for the full impact of the policy to be felt. See also time lag, recognition lag, and implementation lag.

implementation lag

The time it takes for policymakers to act once they recognize an economic condition requiring action. See also time lag, impact lag, and recognition lag.

inflation

A rate of increase in the general price level of all goods and services. (This should not be confused with increases in the prices of specific goods relative to the prices of other goods.)

inflationary expectations

The rate of increase in the general price level anticipated by the public in the period ahead.

interest payments

The return expressed in percentages earned on an investment each year. These payments are issued every six months based on an annual rate.

intermediate targets

An intermediate target is a variable (such as the money supply) that is not directly under the control of the central bank, but that does respond fairly quickly to policy actions, is observable frequently, and bears a predictable relationship to the ultimate goals of policy.

international banking facility – IBF

Facilities which, in general, can accept time deposits from foreign customers free of reserve requirements and interest rate limitations, and can lend to foreigners if the funds are for the conduct of foreign business outside of the U.S. Net borrowing from these facilities by domestic banking offices is subject to reserve requirements.

International Monetary Fund – IMF

An international organization with 146 members, including the United States. The main functions of the IMF are to lend funds to member nations to finance temporary balance of payments problems, to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to promote international monetary cooperation among nations. The IMF also creates special drawing rights (SDR’s), which provide member nations with a source of additional reserves. Member nations are required to subscribe to a Fund quota, paid mainly in their own currency. The IMF grew out of the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944.

issue date

The date when a refund payment is issued on a Treasury Security representing the difference between the investment amount and the purchase price, as determined at auction.

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Last updated February 6, 2004