It's time to play "Build Your Own Fed Statement" It's easy to win, just choose your favorite answers from the bold options.
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December indicates that ______________ (economic activity) / (POTUS consternation over Ukraine) / (dismay among Indonesian pilots) is expanding at a moderate pace. Labor market conditions have shown further improvement; the unemployment rate has declined but remains elevated. ___________ (Household spending and business fixed investment) / (Advertising expenditures for HealthCare.gov) / (Marijuana sales tax revenues in Colorado) advanced, while the recovery in the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months. ___________ (Fiscal policy) / (Non-stop Weather Channel winter storm coverage) / (Productivity lost to pervasive NCAA bracket research) is restraining economic growth, although the extent of restraint may be diminishing. (Inflation) / (Speaking engagement income among Committee Members) / (ObamaCare enrollment) has been running below the Committee's longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum ___________ (employment and price stability) / (opportunities to hit Quicken's Billion Dollar Bracket) (ROI on its stock portfolios). The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will pick up from its recent pace and the ___________ (unemployment rate among Ganjapreneurs) / (probability of stagflation) / (TMZ interest in Miley Cyrus) will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. The Committee sees the risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having become more nearly balanced.
Taking into account the extent of federal fiscal retrenchment since the inception of its current asset purchase program, the Committee sees the ___________ (slight) / (modest) / (nearly indiscernible) improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions over that period as consistent with growing underlying strength in ___________ (the broader economy) / (Colorado Twinkie and Ding Dong sales) / (Jim Irsay's pharmaceutical expenditures). In light of the cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions, the Committee decided to modestly reduce the pace of its asset purchases. Beginning in April, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $30 billion per month rather than $35 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $35 billion per month rather than $40 billion per month. The Committee's (sizable and still-increasing) / (unprecedented) / (potentially constitutional) holdings of longer-term securities should maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative, which in turn should promote ___________ (a stronger economic recovery) / (continued robust stock market returns) / (infinitesimal interest rates for savers) and help to ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with the Committee's dual mandate.
The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on ___________ (economic and financial developments) / (Justin Bieber's burgeoning legal expenses) / (its Final Four picks) in coming months and will continue its purchases of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate, until the outlook for ___________ (the labor market) / (a $10.25 minimum wage) / (adequate supplies of medicinal brownies) has improved substantially in a context of price stability. If incoming information broadly supports the Committee's expectation of ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and inflation moving back toward its longer-run objective, the Committee will likely reduce the pace of asset purchases in further measured steps at future meetings. However, asset purchases are not on a preset course, and the Committee's decisions about their pace will remain contingent on the Committee's outlook for the labor market and inflation.
To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of ___________ (monetary policy) / (frequent Rolex purchases) / (family Tuscan holidays over spring break) will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens. The Committee also reaffirmed its expectation that the current exceptionally low target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above ___________ (6-1/2 percent) / (whatever suspect number the Labor Department reports) / (Rick Santelli's comfort levels), inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored. In determining how long to maintain a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy, the Committee will also consider other information. The Committee now anticipates, based on its assessment of these factors, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6-1/2 percent, especially if projected ___________ (inflation) / (wage growth in the mortgage industry) / (Congress' approval rating) continues to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal.