WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting statements should be expanded to provide a more in-depth assessment across a range of economic indicators, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Friday.
“The statement could provide a summary of changes in a consistent set of indicators on inflation, inflation expectations, the unemployment rate, employment growth, output growth, and financial conditions that the Committee regularly assesses to formulate its outlook and view of appropriate policy,” Mester said in prepared remarks to the Shadow Open Market Committee economics conference in New York.
“The statement would convey whether the accumulated changes in these indicators have materially changed the Committee’s outlook,” she said.
Mester did not mention the U.S. economic outlook or monetary policy in her speech. The Fed slashed interest rates on Tuesday in an emergency move designed to shield the economy from the potential impact of the coronavirus. Financial markets are predicting another rate cut at the central bank’s mid-March meeting.
The Fed meets roughly eight times a year to decide the path of interest rates. In its current post-meeting statement, the assessment of the U.S. economy is kept brief.
Mester has previously said she would like to see the post-meeting statement lengthened to provide a more detailed sense of the Fed’s assessment of the economic outlook and its reasoning for policy actions.
In her speech, Mester also repeated that the Fed should release balance of risk graphs that form part of policymakers’ quarterly summary of economic projections on the same day as Fed policy meetings. Currently they are released with a three-week lag.
(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)