Fed Plans 2019 Review of How It Pursues Goals on Jobs, Inflation

(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve said it will conduct a wide-ranging and public review next year of how it goes about achieving its twin goals of maximum employment and price stability.

The review will cover the Fed’s strategies, tools and communication practices and will include outreach to businesses, community groups and other interested parties.

“With labor market conditions close to maximum employment and inflation near our 2 percent objective, now is a good time to take stock of how we formulate, conduct, and communicate monetary policy,’’ Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a statement Thursday.

The unprecedented public nature of the review reflects Powell’s desire to make the Fed more transparent and comes against the background of repeated criticism from President Donald Trump of the central bank and its interest-rate increases.

Virtually everything the Fed does in pursuit of its congressionally mandated goals will be on the table, though Powell’s statement suggests that the central bank is not looking to increase its 2 percent inflation target.

The review is not expected to include a look at how the Fed mechanically controls short-term interest rates, which is being discussed internally.

As part of the outreach effort, the central bank said it will sponsor a research conference June 4-5, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, with speakers and panelists from outside. Other regional Fed banks will also hold public events.

Beginning around the middle of 2019, policy makers will discuss what they’ve learned as part of their own review of how to best pursue the Fed’s goals. At the end of the year-long process, policy makers will report their findings, the Fed said.

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