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Fed remitted $54.9B to Treasury in 2019, down from $62.1B last year

The Federal Reserve remitted roughly $54.9 billion in profits to the U.S. Treasury Department in 2019, down from roughly $62.1 billion the prior year, according to a Jan. 10 news release.

The Fed, which annually returns profits to the Treasury, said net income across the Fed system dropped $7.6 billion year over year to $55.5 billion.

The decrease was largely due to a $9.5 billion drop in interest income on the securities the Fed had in its portfolio, which the Fed had been gradually reducing through August 2019, along with a $1.5 billion increase in interest expenses. However, a $3.5 billion decrease in the interest payments the Fed made to banks for holding central bank reserves partly offset the hit on net income.

Operating expenses at the Fed's 12 districts amounted to $4.5 billion in 2019, net of amounts that the U.S. Treasury and other entities paid the banks for their services as fiscal agents.

The Fed said its release is based off preliminary unaudited results and that audited financial statements for its reserve banks should be published in March.