CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-U.S. Fed balance sheet size hits record in latest week

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:20pm EST

(In paragraph 3, please read up from $3.007 trillion instead of $.007 trillion.)

NEW YORK Jan 24 (Reuters) - The size of the U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet reached a record, Fed data released on Thursday showed, due to the central bank's purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities that are part of its unconventional policy aimed at supporting economic growth.

The Fed's liabilities - which comprises mainly its lending to the financial system and most closely watched by traders - stood at $2.994 trillion on Jan. 23, up from $2.946 trillion on Jan. 16.

The central bank's overall balance sheet which include gold holdings and dollar bills and coins in circulation totaled $3.055 trillion in the latest week, up from $3.007 trillion in the prior week.

The Fed's ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) totaled $983.2 billion, up from $947.61 billion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.697 trillion as of Wednesday, higher than $1.689 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system was $75.11 billion, unchanged from the prior week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $5 million a day during the week compared with a $9 million a day average rate the prior week. (Reporting by Richard Leong, editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)