The Fed announced on March 24, 2011 that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold press briefings four times a year to explain the FOMCs latest quarterly economic projections. Additionally, the purpose of the briefings is to provide additional context for the FOMCs policy decisions and to allow for Q&A with the press. According to the Fed, the “introduction of regular press briefings is intended to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserves monetary policy communication.” The press briefing is held at 2:15 p.m. ET on the days of FOMC statements in which quarterly projections are released. On those statement days, the FOMC statement will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET instead of 2:15 p.m. ET for when statements are released for other FOMC meetings during the year.
The Feds meeting statement and economic projections can move financial markets. However, the Feds meeting statementwhich indicates any changes in monetary policytypically is very concise and lacking in detail. Also, there are no specifics about the Feds quarterly economic forecasts at the time of the statement release. Written details regarding the policy decision and the forecasts are not available until three weeks after the FOMC meeting when the meeting minutes are released. The chairmans press conference allows for the financial markets and public in general to learn more about why and how the monetary policy decision was made and to learn more about FOMC views on the direction of the economyincluding real growth, inflation, and unemployment. On the days in which the FOMC puts together its economic forecasts, there is a double opportunity for the Fed to move marketsat 12:30 p.m. ET when the statement is released and at 2:15 p.m. ET when the Fed chairman begins his press conference (and until the end of Q&A).
Four times per year
Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Typically scheduled after FOMC meetings in January, April, June, and October (sometimes early November instead of late October)