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Fed adopts a de facto inflation target of 2%
By Krishna Guha in Washington (FT)
Published: February 19 2009 02:31


Later today, with the release of the minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting, we will be making an additional significant enhancement in Federal Reserve communications: To supplement the current economic projections by governors and Reserve Bank presidents for the next three years, we will also publish their projections of the longer-term values (at a horizon of, for example, five to six years) of output growth, unemployment, and inflation, under the assumptions of appropriate monetary policy and the absence of new shocks to the economy. These longer-term projections will inform the public of the Committee participants' estimates of the rate of growth of output and the unemployment rate that appear to be sustainable in the long run in the United States, taking into account important influences such as the trend growth rates of productivity and the labor force, improvements in worker education and skills, the efficiency of the labor market at matching workers and jobs, government policies affecting technological development or the labor market, and other factors. The longer-term projections of inflation may be interpreted, in turn, as the rate of inflation that FOMC participants see as most consistent with the dual mandate given to it by the Congress--that is, the rate of inflation that promotes maximum sustainable employment while also delivering reasonable price stability. This further extension of the quarterly projections should provide the public a clearer picture of FOMC participants' policy strategy for promoting maximum employment and price stability over time. Also, increased clarity about the FOMC's views regarding longer-term inflation should help to better stabilize the public's inflation expectations, thus contributing to keeping actual inflation from rising too high or falling too low.



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