Richard H Clarida: The Federal Reserve's review of its monetary policy strategy, tools, and communication practices

Speech by Mr Richard H Clarida, Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at the "Fed Listens: Distributional Consequences of the Cycle and Monetary Policy" Conference, hosted by the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 9 April 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
10 April 2019

I am pleased to attend this Fed Listens event on the distributional consequences of the business cycle and monetary policy. The Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is a natural venue for discussing this topic in the context of the broad review of our monetary policy framework that we are undertaking this year. In our review, we are examining the policy strategy, tools, and communication practices that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) uses to pursue the Fed's dual-mandate goals of maximum employment and price stability. I will speak this evening about the motivation for and scope of our review. We are bringing open minds to it and are seeking perspectives from a broad range of interested individuals and groups, such as the panel of researchers we heard from this afternoon and the community leaders we will hear from tomorrow. To us, it simply seems like good institutional practice to engage broadly with the public in this review as part of a comprehensive approach to enhanced transparency and accountability.

Motivation for the Review

The Federal Reserve has been charged by the Congress with a dual mandate to achieve maximum employment and price stability, and this review will take this mandate as given. Moreover, the review will take as given that a 2 percent rate of inflation in the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) is the operational goal most consistent with our price stability mandate. While we believe that our existing framework for conducting monetary policy has served the public well, the purpose of this review is to evaluate and assess ways in which our existing framework might be improved so that we can best achieve our dual mandate objectives on a sustained basis. That said, based on the experience of other central banks that have undertaken similar reviews, our review is more likely to produce evolution, not a revolution, in the way that we conduct monetary policy.