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

I was using what I thought was constructive ambiguity there. [Laughter] I’m not sure what most observers think of as the normal rate, but when one reads Wall Street newsletters and things like that, one often sees numbers like 6 or 7 percent. I prefer the term “target” because I think it implies what we think is actually going on in terms of our models of consumption—that households have a target saving rate that is based on things such as those I noted here, including the wealth ratio and real interest rates. And then it is affected by the composition of income and, in particular, the role of transfer payments. So I prefer the target concept; and by our reckoning, that would currently be something on the order of 3 percent or so. That is the number that I think we should be focusing on.

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