Transcripts of the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve from 2002–2008.

My guess is that, if our baseline forecast evolves in the way we are expecting here, you are still going to be worried about the downside risk to inflation even if, in fact, we were in the process of bottoming out because there will still be a very substantial output gap. On the commodity price side, things are fairly stable, and at least in our forecast, inflation expectations are probably drifting down some. On the other hand, there are upside risks to that inflation forecast as well. I do actually think that our baseline forecast, on the assumptions that we have had to make in constructing it, is reasonably well balanced because another possibility is, in contrast to the gradual downtrend that we’re expecting in inflation expectations, that inflation expectations will be stickier, you will be able to convey a greater sense that you wouldn’t want inflation over the longer haul moving down below 1 percent, we won’t get as much disinflation into inflation expectations or into labor costs, and you’ll get greater stability there than we’re expecting. So to my mind, looking ahead, monitoring how those inflation expectations evolve in the context of an economy where things are weakening will be very important.

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