Powell to provide update on monetary policy review during next week’s virtual Jackson Hole symposium

The monetary policy framework review will be the topic for the Federal Reserve Board chair presented during the annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. However, like many meetings in 2020, the session Aug. 27 will be delivered by the Internet.

The Fed, under the chairmanship of Jerome H. (“Jay”) Powell, has been pursuing a review of its framework for setting monetary policy since 2018. The review, according to the Fed, is designed look at the strategy, tools, and communication practices the Fed uses to pursue monetary policy goals established by the Congress: maximum employment and price stability.

In the review, the Fed has said its statutory mandate, and an inflation objective of 2%, were both taken as “givens.” The Fed said the inflation target “is the most consistent, over the longer run, with the assigned mandate of price stability.” Outside of those two areas, however, the Fed has said the review will be “wide-ranging.” “It will consider whether the Federal Reserve can best meet its dual-mandate objectives with its existing monetary policy strategy, whether the existing monetary policy tools are adequate to achieve and maintain the dual mandate, and whether the communications about the policy strategy and tools can be improved,” the Fed has said.

Next week’s meeting – titled “Navigating the Decade Ahead: Implications for Monetary Policy” – is set for Aug. 27 and gets underway at 9:10 a.m. ET. Like many larger public gatherings during the coronavirus crisis, this meeting will be held as a virtual event. Proceedings will be live-streamed via the Internet, according to the event’s sponsor, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The annual symposium continues the gathering that has been held since 1978; it’s been held in Jackson Hole since 1981. This year’s event apparently is the first virtual staging of the event. According to the Kansas City Fed, the meeting is one of the longest-standing central banking conferences in the world.

Among the past participants are economists, financial market participants, academics, U.S. government representatives, and news media. Discussions focus on long-term policy issues of mutual concern, according to the KC Fed. About 120 individuals annually attend – including leaders of the Fed. Other attendees are selected based on each year’s topic, according to the KC Fed, with consideration for diversity in region, background, and industry. Representatives from 70 countries have attended the event since 1982, the Fed bank said.

Federal Reserve Board calendar, August 2020