Monetary Policy Report (Humphrey-Hawkins testimony)

The Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony report the old name given to a biannual event in which the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank makes a report to the US Congress on the state of the US economy and monetary policy twice a year.

At the same time that the report is released, the Fed chairman testifies before Congress, giving a summary of the report. It is traditionally speaking, one of the most important speeches given by the Fed chairman, and is given to the House Committee on Financial Services, and then subsequently to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

This testimony session is named after the lawmakers (Sen. Hubert Humphrey and Rep. Augustus Hawkins) who sponsored the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978, the law which made this testimony compulsory.

History

The Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony report stems out of legislation enacted in the United States in 1978 to address the problem of rising inflation and unemployment which was besetting the US economy at the time. The Humphrey-Hawkins Act was a law that called for the easing of unemployment curbing of inflation, through monetary policy, increasing liquidity and central bank policies to aid private sector employment.

The report is now known as the Monetary Policy Report. Since the US Fed Reserve was made the integral player in the implementing the mandates of the law, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Fed Reserve was now required to give oral testimony about the report to the relevant committees.

Conclusion

The Monetary Policy Report is delivered twice in February and July of every year, and reports on the basic state of the US economy, focusing on past policy decisions, their predicted economic impact as well as recent financial and economic developments.