The U.S. Federal Reserve Board meets on a fairly established schedule. The actual dates of meetings are published in advance, both as a way to be transparent, and as a means to avoid looking panicked or interested in specific events. The idea is that if you already know the Fed is meeting on April 30th, for example, then when some huge meltdown occurs on April 27th, you know that the Fed meeting isn’t in response to that event, because it has long been scheduled.
As such, the Fed has released its tentative schedule for 2019.
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2019 Federal Reserve Board Meetings
The meetings, as usual, are over a two-day period of Tuesday to Wednesday. Any actions taken, such as raising or lowering interest rates, are typically voted on and announced on the Wednesday part of the meeting, so it’s sort of common to just think of the Fed as meeting on Wednesdays.
For 2019, the Fed meetings are:
- January 29-30
- March 19-20
- April 30- May 1
- June 18-19
- July 30-31
- September 17-18
- October 29-30
- December 10-11
- January 28-29, 2020
As you can see, there are no Fed meetings in February, May, August, or November.
The Fed Chairman gives quarterly new conferences which are scheduled for after the March, June, September, and December meetings. He also testifies to Congress twice each year.
The markets love to overreach to interest rate moves, and parse Fed meeting notes in between each meeting for clues to what the Fed will do next. These days, those predictions are easy to make as the Fed telegraphs its moves, often months in advance, to avoid startling the markets.
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Most analysts still expect another two or three rates hikes in 2018, although the volatility of the Trump administration, bizarre economic policies, the effects of last-year’s tax bill, and an economic expansion that is getting very, very old, may complicate those additional hikes in coming months.