Federal Reserve to publish rate forecasts

Federal Reserve to publish rate forecasts

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
The Federal Reserve will begin to publish interest rate projections in economic forecasts this month, a major effort to improve communications with the public and financial markets.

Fed officials at a Dec. 13 policy-setting meeting “decided to incorporate information about their projections of appropriate monetary policy” into their quarterly economic outlook reports, the minutes of the meeting released Tuesday showed.

Analysts noted that minutes from Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings typically hold few surprises, but this time marked a huge leap toward transparency.

“The Fed took a giant step towards enhancing the clarity and transparency of monetary policy by agreeing to include explicit interest rate forecasts in its quarterly projections,” said Paul Edelstein at international consultancy IHS Global Insight.

Some Fed officials are pressing for a further overhaul in communications, the minutes suggested.
The Fed’s interest rates information will be included in the next batch of U.S. economic forecasts, known as the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP), at the end of a two-day FOMC meeting on Jan. 25.
“The SEP will include information about participants’ projections of the appropriate level of the target federal funds rate in the fourth quarter of the current year and the next few calendar years, and over the longer run,” the minutes said.