The Federal Reserve has released the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes from the past two days. The committee met to discuss the state of the economic recovery.
Later today, Ben Bernanke is scheduled to conduct a public press conference discussing the meeting notes and hosting a question and answer session. The news of the conference has completely overshadowed the actual notes due to the fact that it is the first public press conference the Fed has ever had.
Bernanke is expected to quickly reiterate the meeting minutes before jumping into the Q&A session.
FOMC Meeting Summary
According to the minutes, the economic recovery is moving at a moderate pace as overall labor market conditions show slight improvements overtime.
The biggest piece of information that can be taken from the meeting is in relation to the QE2 program the Fed instated towards the end of 2010.
According to the release, “To promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate, the Committee decided today to continue expanding its holdings of securities as announced in November.”
The biggest controversy surrounding QE2 is the risk of hyperinflation, but the fed has promised to closely monitor the financial outlook. The committee stated that although, “inflation has picked up in recent months…longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable and measures of underlying inflation are still subdued”.
The Fed’s decision to stick with the quantitative easing program means the committee will continue to make purchases of long-term Treasury securities until they reach the $600 billion projected. They are expected to reach this number by the end of the current quarter.
The Fed’s decision to continue with the program is not set in stone as the committee promises to continue reviewing market data in order to make any adjustments necessary. The main goal of the committee is to stabilize prices and foster job growth.