At present, the Federal Reserve is showing the most inclination to remove interest rate accommodation in monetary policy. However, the Bank of Canada and Bank of England are also on a modest and gradual path of raising their respective benchmark rates.
The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve (FRB) of the US meets eight times a year at six-to-eight week intervals. The post-meeting statement is normally released at about 14:00 ET on the second day of the meeting (normally a Wednesday). After the meetings in March, June, September, and December, the statement is accompanied by the quarterly update to the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP). The Chair will hold a press briefing following every meeting. The minutes of the meeting are released three weeks after the last day of the meeting. The Federal Reserve’s primary tool to adjust monetary policy is via setting short term rates (the fed funds target rate range, Interest on Excess Reserves [IOER], the discount rate, and the offer rate on Overnight Repurchases). The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate of full employment and price stability and has a symmetrical inflation target of 2% based on the PCE deflator.
The European Central Bank (ECB) governors meet eight times a year at about every six-to-eight weeks to consider monetary policy and announces it decision at 13:45 CET on the day of the meeting. The ECB President briefs the press after every monetary policy meeting. The meeting minutes are published four weeks after the meeting. The ECB has an inflation-only objective of “a year-on-year increase in the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for the euro are of below 2%” which it adopted in 1998. It sets monetary policy via the rates on main refinancing operations, the marginal lending facility, and the deposit facility.
The Bank of England (BOE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets eight times a year and releases their monetary policy decision at 12:00 (noon) local time. The minutes of the prior meeting are released at the same time. The Governor holds a press briefing after the meeting and announcement of its bank rate. The BOE has an inflation target of 2%. “If we miss the inflation target by more than 1 percentage point either side – in other words, if the CPI inflation rate is more than 3% or less than 1% – the Governor of the Bank of England must write a letter to the Chancellor. This letter explains why inflation has increased or fallen and what the Bank of England proposes to make sure it comes back to target,” the Bank’s website says.
The Bank of Canada (BOC) Governing Council meets eight times a year. Its post-meeting statement is released at 10:00 ET to announce the setting of the overnight rate which is its key monetary policy instrument. The Governor briefs the press afterward. The Bank includes its “Monetary Policy Report” quarterly in January, April, July, and October. The BOC policy objective is price stability with a symmetric inflation target of 2%.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) Policy Board meets eight times a year to announce its short-term and long-term policy interest rate decision and guidelines for asset purchases. The Governor holds a press briefing afterward. A Summary of Opinions is released about a week after the meeting, and minutes of the meeting are released about a week after the subsequent Policy Board meeting. The BOJ has a “price stability” target of 2% of year-over-year CPI.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Board meets 11 times a year to announce its decision on the target cash rate. Meetings are the first Tuesday of every month except January and the decision is released at 2:30 PM local time. Minutes are released two weeks later at 11:30 AM local time. The Bank has a flexible inflation target of 2%-3% for the year-over-year CPI, on average, over time.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) Governors set monetary policy via its official cash rate (OCR) seven times a year. The Monetary Policy Statement is issued along with the OCR announcement in February, May, August, and November. The RBNZ inflation target is year-over-year CPI at 1%-3% on average, over the medium term.
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