These Fed Officials Give the Best Policy Signal

By Christopher CondonChristopher Condon, Jeanna SmialekJeanna Smialek, Catarina SaraivaCatarina Saraiva and Chloe WhiteakerChloe Whiteaker
March 13, 2017

Monetary policy doves serve as better beacons of the central bank’s future policy path, according to 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Respondents rated Fed officials on two scales: hawk versus dove, and their reliability in signaling future policy. Economists ranked the chair, historically the Fed's most powerful member, as the best policy signal, and she was generally followed by relatively dovish permanent voters. Officials have kept rates low for years, which could explain why proponents of easy policy dominated the ranking. The Fed appears to be on the cusp of a more aggressive hiking cycle—so that could be poised to change.

Responses were assigned a numerical value that was averaged for each Fed official. The responses were indexed, with the neutral response set at zero.

Permanent voter
Rotating voter

Federal Funds Target Rate

The doves have been winning out so far, as rates have remained near zero for almost a decade. More hikes are expected this year.

FOMC Dot Plot

Differences in policymakers' hawkish or dovish leanings are most visible in the Fed's so-called dot plot, which shows projections for the target interest rate.