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Simple Monetary Policy Rules



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Next anticipated update: June 1, 2017

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland provides federal funds rates from seven simple monetary policy rules based on three sets of forecasts for economic conditions, along with tools to help you customize your own simple policy rule.

Simple monetary policy rules typically provide a relationship between the central bank’s policy rate—which, for the United States, has been the federal funds rate target—and a relatively small number of indicators on real economic activity and inflation. Monetary policymakers often compare and contrast the federal funds rates implied by different simple monetary policy rules, use simple rules as an input in the decision-making process, and use simple rules to help communicate decisions to the public. (For one example, see here.) Examining a variety of rules is helpful because there is no agreement in the research literature on a single “best” rule, and different rules can sometimes generate very different values for the federal funds rate, both for the present and for the future. Looking across multiple economic forecasts helps to capture some of the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook and, by extension, monetary policy prospects.

This page briefly reports and regularly updates the federal funds rates based on the simple monetary policy rules and forecast sources documented in the Economic Commentary, “Federal Funds Rates Based on Seven Simple Monetary Policy Rules.” An online appendix provides additional background.

Summary of Federal Funds Rates Based on Seven Simple Policy Rules

Federal Funds Rates Based on Simple Monetary Policy Rules for a Given Forecast

Forecast Rule Date (YYYY.Q format)
SPF Taylor (1993) rule
Core inflation in Taylor (1999) rule
Inertial rule
Alternative r* rule
Forward-looking rule
First-difference rule
Low weight on output gap rule
CBO Taylor (1993) rule
Core inflation in Taylor (1999) rule
Inertial rule
Alternative r* rule
Forward-looking rule
First-difference rule
Low weight on output gap rule
FRBC BVAR Taylor (1993) rule
Core inflation in Taylor (1999) rule
Inertial rule
Alternative r* rule
Forward-looking rule
First-difference rule
Low weight on output gap rule
Summary Maximum
Median
Minimum

Sources: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland calculations based on data and/or forecasts from Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Congressional Budget Office; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; and Haver Analytics.

Notes: The table takes the forecasts for inflation and economic activity from each forecaster as given and then computes the federal funds rate based on each simple monetary policy rule. SPF uses the forecasts from the Survey of Professional Forecasters. CBO uses the forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office. FRBC BVAR uses the forecasts from a small Bayesian vector autoregression model maintained by Cleveland Fed staff. Because the Cleveland Fed staff consult a variety of forecasting models, the FRBC BVAR model forecast does not necessarily represent the official forecast of Cleveland Fed staff or the president of the Cleveland Fed. Some values are missing due to limited forecast availability. All federal funds rates are expressed as percentages and are quarterly averages.

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