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Monetary Policy - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Monetary Policy - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Monetary Policy - Federal Reserve Bank of

Monetary Policy Setting the Stage for Growth Monetary policy is the primary tool used by the Federal Reserve to create a financial environment for sustained economic growth. Policy is set nationally, through the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). All 12 Federal Reserve District presidents participate in FOMC discussions, but they vote on a rotating basis. (Philadelphia’s next turn will come in 2002.) The FOMC meets eight times a year in Washington and consists of 12 voting members: seven from the Board of Governors and a rotating group of five Federal Reserve Bank presidents. The FOMC influences liquidity in the economy by setting the federal funds rate, the interest rate at which banks borrow and lend reserves to one another. This rate affects the availability of money and credit in the economy. The availability of money and credit influences spending and, in turn, demand for goods and services. The Fed’s goal is to keep growth of demand for goods and services in line with that of the economy’s production capacity, which keeps inflation under control. So, by increasing or decreasing banks’ liquidity through cash reserves, the Fed initiates a sequence of events that, ideally, keeps inflation in check and permits economic expansion. Executive Vice President Richard W. Lang, shown at the Independence Mall entrance to the Philadelphia Fed, oversees the Bank’s research and external outreach activities. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ANNUAL REPORT 2000 9

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