WASHINGTON — With the economy “expanding moderately” despite a slowdown of foreign economies, the Federal Open Market Committee’s projections remained unchanged and the FOMC agreed to incorporate information about its projections of appropriate monetary policy into public releases beginning this month, according to minutes of the committee’s Dec. 13 meeting, released Tuesday.
Members noted a dip in the November unemployment rate to 8.6% and advancing consumer spending, but businesses’ fixed investment “appeared to be decelerating,” and home sales and construction levels remained low.
The federal funds target was left at zero to 0.25%, but several members suggested that previous references to the need to hold the rate steady until “mid-2013” might need to be revised before long.
Also unchanged was the opposition of Charles L. Evans, who voted against this action because he viewed “additional accommodation” as necessary because economic growth may be too slow to put a dent in the unemployment rate.
Several members voiced dissatisfaction with the committee’s approach to communicating its views on appropriate monetary policy, which led to agreement that these views will now be included in the Summary of Economic Projections, which the FOMC releases four times each year. The first such release including this information will be later this month, according to the minutes.
Some members suggested that even more information be included in the SEP, which the chairman asked a subcommittee to explore in coming months.