Monetary Policy Report, February 24, 2015

Monetary Policy Report, February 24, 2015

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second half of last year and into early 2015, and labor market conditions moved closer to those the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) judges consistent with its maximum employment mandate. Since the middle of last year, monthly payrolls have expanded by about 280,000, on average, and the unemployment rate has declined nearly 1/2 percentage point on net. Nevertheless, a range of labor market indicators suggest that there is still room for improvement. In particular, at 5.7 percent, the unemployment rate is still above most FOMC participants' estimates of its longer-run normal level, the labor force participation rate remains below most assessments of its trend, an unusually large number of people continue to work part time when they would prefer full-time employment, and wage growth has continued to be slow. A steep drop in crude oil prices since the middle of last year has put downward pressure on overall inflation. As of December 2014, the price index for personal consumption expenditures was only 3/4 percent higher than a year earlier, a rate of increase that is well below the FOMC's longer-run goal of 2 percent. Even apart from the energy sector, price increases have been subdued. Indeed, the prices of items other than food and energy products rose at an annual rate of only about 1 percent over the last six months of 2014, noticeably less than in the first half of the year. The slow pace of price increases during the second half was likely associated, in part, with falling import prices and perhaps also with some pass-through of lower oil prices. Survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable; however market-based measures of inflation compensation have declined since last summershow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 60 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 3mm | 163g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508679061
  • 9781508679066