NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today issued a written summary and released a video about the Fed Listens discussions that it hosted throughout the spring of 2019. Fed Listens is a Federal Reserve System-wide review of the strategy, tools, and communications practices that the Fed uses to pursue its statutory monetary policy goals of maximum employment and price stability.
As part of this effort, the New York Fed hosted four Fed Listens sessions to solicit a wide range of perspectives from diverse stakeholders around issues related to the job market, inflation, and the transmission of monetary policy to the broader economy.
For three of its four Fed Listens discussions, the New York Fed engaged with its external advisory groups. Throughout March and April, it held discussions with the Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture, the Upstate New York Regional Advisory Board, and the Community Advisory Group. The discussions culminated in the New York Fed’s fourth and final event, a capstone roundtable discussion in May that included labor and non-profit leaders, local government officials and congressional district staff, and regional academics, among others.
To hear President Williams’s thoughts on these engagements and the importance of bringing in a diverse set of perspectives from the communities that the New York Fed serves, see the video highlighting the discussions. Both this video and a recording of the full capstone roundtable are available on the New York Fed’s Fed Listens page.
The summary released today covers several key points raised during the Fed Listens discussions, including:
- Big Picture: Participants’ views on how important the Fed’s two statutory goals are and whether they view one as more important than the other, were mixed.
- Job Market: Across all the discussions, there was consensus that at a national level, the U.S. is running a “tight” job market. Many expressed ongoing concerns about low- and moderate-income households, even in today’s “tight” job market. When asked whether we have reached “full employment,” there was no such consensus. Participants urged the Fed to focus on helping to create quality jobs with living and equitable wages, not just minimum wages.
- Inflation: Many participants said it is important that price inflation be predictable and stable.
- Transmission of Monetary Policy to the Broader Economy: Participants expressed that it is challenging to understand how a national monetary policy accurately reflects the multiple and diverse local economies that exist in the country. They worried that the impact of uniform monetary policy is very disproportionate. The need to address income inequality—both across households and geographically—was also cited as an important underlying concern.