Why Investors Care
The Fed’s meeting statement and economic projections can move financial markets. However, the Fed’s meeting statement—which indicates any changes in monetary policy—typically is very concise and lacking in detail. However, the Fed now releases its economic forecasts four times a year. As of March 20, 2013, the forecasts are released at the same time as the FOMC statement during the months of March, June, September, and December. These are the months that the chair holds a press conference to explain the forecasts and other policy issues. The chair’s press conference allows for the financial markets and public in general to learn more about why and how the monetary policy decision was made and to learn more about FOMC views on the direction of the economy—including real growth, inflation, unemployment, expected timing of changes in the fed funds rate, and expected levels of the fed funds rate in the near term.