At this meeting the Committee engaged in a broad-ranging discussion of the pros and cons of formulating a numerical definition of the price-stability objective of monetary policy. A staff presentation on the topic included a review of the potential costs and benefits of introducing such a definition as well as of other countries’ experiences. In the subsequent discussion, meeting participants uniformly agreed that price stability provided the best environment for maximizing sustainable economic growth in the long run, but expressed a range of views on whether it would be helpful for the Committee to articulate a specific numerical definition for the Federal Reserve's price-stability objective--either a single figure or a range. Those who believed such a move would be on balance beneficial cited, for example, its usefulness as an anchor for long-term inflation expectations, as a vehicle for enhanced clarity of Committee deliberations, and as an additional tool for communications. Several of those who saw greater potential drawbacks were concerned that such a shift might appear to be inconsistent with the Committee’s dual mandate of fostering maximum employment as well as price stability or that it might inappropriately bias or constrain policy at times; in any case, with inflation expectations well-contained over recent years, the benefits of announcing a specific inflation objective were not likely to be large. The Committee decided to defer further discussion.
Keywords: ECO301, Monetary Policy, Inflation Targeting