Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings are not open to the public, so how do I know what the FOMC is doing?

Information about the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) deliberations and decisions can be found in:

  • policy statements released after each FOMC meeting
  • detailed minutes of FOMC meetings, released three weeks after each regularly scheduled meeting
  • The Chair's press conferences
  • quarterly publication of the economic projections of FOMC participants
  • semiannual and other testimony by the Chair to the Congress on monetary policy
  • weekly disclosure of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet and discount window lending

Here is a more detailed timeline of how the FOMC has increased accountability and disclosure:

  • The FOMC has long released minutes of its meetings that contain a complete record of policy actions taken, including the votes by individual members on each policy action, and a summary of the various views presented. Since 2005, the minutes of each FOMC meeting have been published three weeks after each meeting.
  • In 1994, the FOMC began announcing changes in monetary policy by issuing a statement shortly after the conclusion of its meetings. Since May 1999, the FOMC has issued statements following each meeting regardless of whether it changed policy. Each FOMC statement reports on the policy decision and its rationale, includes the vote of each FOMC member, and provides a brief explanation for any dissenting votes.
  • Since April 2011, the Chair has held a press conference following each FOMC meeting for which a Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) is prepared. The Chair begins each press conference with a prepared statement and then takes questions from journalists. Press conferences allow the Chair to provide additional detail about the rationale behind the FOMC's policy decision and how that decision relates to participants' projections for the economy over the next few years and to the FOMC's mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices.
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Last Update: December 02, 2020