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FOMC: what it is & what it does

FOMC: A conference room with people sitting around a table discussing FOMC matters.

Whenever FOMC meetings happen, financial markets worldwide take notice and everyone is always keen to hear what the Federal Reserve (FED) chairman has to say. But what exactly is the FOMC, and why does it matter?

What is FOMC and what does it do?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. Its primary responsibility is to set monetary policy to achieve stable prices, maximum employment, and moderate long-term interest rates.

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What happens on FOMC meeting day and how does it impact the market?

On FOMC meeting days, members of the Federal Open Market Committee gather to discuss economic conditions and decide on monetary policy actions. This can include changing interest rates or adjusting bond purchases. The market pays close attention to these decisions because they can affect borrowing costs, inflation and economic growth. If the FOMC raises interest rates, for example, it can make borrowing more expensive, which may slow down economic activity. Conversely, if rates are lowered, it can stimulate borrowing and spending. Overall, FOMC decisions have a significant impact on financial markets, influencing stock prices, bond yields, currency values and even instruments like Bitcoin price.

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When are the next FOMC meetings in 2024?

Here are the next FOMC meetings in 2024:

  • 30-1 April/May 2024
  • 11-12 June 2024
  • 30-31 July 2024
  • 17-18 September 2024
  • 6-7 November 2024
  • 17-18 December 2024

Note: Meetings are unconfirmed until the preceding session.

Source: www.investopedia.com

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FAQs

1. What is the FOMC?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve System responsible for setting monetary policy in the United States.

2. How often does the FOMC meet?

The FOMC typically meets eight times a year, approximately every six weeks, to assess economic conditions and determine monetary policy actions.

3. What happens during FOMC meetings?

During FOMC meetings, committee members review economic data, discuss current economic conditions, and decide on monetary policy actions, such as adjusting interest rates or bond purchases.

4. Why are FOMC meetings important?

FOMC meetings are crucial because the decisions made by the committee could have significant impacts on financial markets, including interest rates, stock prices, bond yields, and currency values.

5. How does the market react to FOMC meetings?

Financial markets often exhibit increased volatility around FOMC meetings as investors anticipate and react to potential changes in monetary policy. Stock prices, bond yields, and currency exchange rates could experience fluctuations in response to FOMC announcements.

6. What factors does the FOMC consider when making monetary policy decisions?

The FOMC considers a wide range of economic indicators including employment levels, inflation rates, GDP growth, consumer spending, business investment, and international developments.

7. How does the FOMC communicate its decisions to the public?

After each meeting, the FOMC issues a statement outlining its decision on monetary policy, including any changes to interest rates or other policy tools. The chair of the Federal Reserve also holds a press conference to provide additional context and answer questions from reporters.

8. Can individual investors attend FOMC meetings?

FOMC meetings are closed-door events attended only by committee members and selected staff members of the Federal Reserve. However, the outcomes of the meetings are made public through official statements and press conferences.

9. What are the goals of the FOMC's monetary policy?

The FOMC's primary goals are to promote maximum employment, stable prices (low inflation), and moderate long-term interest rates. It aims to achieve these objectives through adjustments to monetary policy tools such as the federal funds rate and asset purchases.

10. How do FOMC decisions affect interest rates?

FOMC decisions on monetary policy, such as changing the federal funds rate, could directly impact short-term interest rates. Changes in short-term rates can then influence longer-term interest rates, such as those on mortgages and corporate bonds, through various channels in financial markets.

11. What is the "dual mandate" of the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate from Congress to promote maximum employment and stable prices. The FOMC's monetary policy decisions are guided by these objectives, aiming to achieve both full employment and low inflation over the long term.

This article is offered for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Please be informed that currently, Skilling is only offering CFDs.

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