Roundup: Federal Reserve / Clean fuels initiative / Down payments on homes  

    Economic support: Following its latest policy meeting, the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low near zero today and signaled its readiness to do more if needed to support an economy under threat from a worsening coronavirus pandemic. The central bank again pledged to use its “full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time.” Read the full story. 

    Greenhouse gas reduction: Gov. John Bel Edwards and CF Industries CEO Tony Will today detailed the economic and environmental impact a new clean fuels climate-focused initiative will bring to Louisiana and the company’s Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex. Earlier this year, Edwards formed a Climate Initiatives Task Force to recommend methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to worsening weather, coastal and atmospheric conditions. CF Industries, one of the largest ammonium producers, is committing to a 25% reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 2030 and the attainment of net-zero emissions by 2050. Read the full announcement. 

    Rising prices: Even with mortgage rates hovering near all-time lows, rising home prices are putting more pressure on buyers to come up with a bigger down payment. In the April-June quarter, the median down payment on a single-family U.S. home was $13,955, a 15.3% increase from a year earlier, according to industry tracker Attom Data Solutions. In the first three months of 2020, it vaulted 29% from the same period in 2019. The trend follows a steady climb in U.S. home prices this year, stretching the limits of affordability for many Americans. Read the full story.