What are the Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee?

The minutes of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings, which are released three weeks after each meeting, provide a timely summary of the discussion during the meeting and the decisions taken at the meeting. The minutes describe the views expressed by policymakers and explain the reasons for the Committee's decisions. The minutes can help the public interpret economic and financial developments and understand the Committee's decisions. As an official record of the meeting, the minutes identify all attendees, and provide a complete record of policy actions taken, including the votes by individual members on each policy action.

The most detailed record of FOMC meeting proceedings is the transcript. Transcripts, beginning with the first FOMC meetings in 1936, are available on the Federal Reserve Board's website. The FOMC currently releases the transcripts of its meetings after an interval of about five years. This interval helps ensure that participants can have a candid and free exchange of views about economic conditions and alternative policy approaches. The few other G-20 central banks that release transcripts do so with longer intervals: the Bank of Japan after 10 years, the Bank of England after eight years (with the first transcript scheduled to be released in 2023), and the European Central Bank after 20 years (with the first transcript scheduled to be released in 2028).

Related Information

Federal Open Market Committee: Meeting calendars, statements, and minutes (2012-2018)

Federal Open Market Committee: Transcripts and other historical materials

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Last Update: May 15, 2017