The Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes of its meetings with a lag. The minutes of the previous meeting are reported three weeks after the meeting.
The FOMC has changed dramatically in the transparency of its operations. It now discloses policy changes at the end of each meeting. Historically, the Fed used to keep investors guessing about policy changes and Fed officials did not appear on the speaking circuit as frequently as they do now.
Since the Fed moved up the release of the minutes to three weeks after a meeting from six in January 2005, the minutes have become a market mover as analysts parse each word looking for clues to policy. However, the minutes do include the complete economic analysis compiled by Fed officials and whether or not any FOMC members have voiced opinions at odds with the rest of the group.
Also, the FOMC minutes now include quarterly economic forecasts by the Fed. On November 20, 2007, the Federal Reserve changed its policy of how frequently and when it would release its forecasts. The Fed will now releases economic projections four times a year (every other FOMC meeting). Projections made by members of the Board of Governors and Federal Reserve Bank presidents will be published with the minutes of the FOMC meetings scheduled for January, April, June, and October. The forecasts released at the end of January and at the end of June become part of the Fed's semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress. The quarterly forecasts can be market movers.
Investors who want a more detailed description of Fed opinions will generally read the minutes closely. However, the Fed discloses its official view at the end of each FOMC meeting with a public statement. Fed officials make numerous speeches, which freely give their views to the public at large.
Eight times year
Federal Reserve Board of Governors
The FOMC minutes are released three weeks to the day after the conclusion of each FOMC meeting. FOMC meetings are scheduled for eight times a year, typically for late January, mid-March, late April, late June, mid-August, late September, early November, and mid-December
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