Federal Reserve policymakers need more than data and economists' forecasts to understand what's happening in the nation's large, diverse economy. That's where the Fed's decentralized structure is useful. The latest in the Atlanta Fed's animated video series explains in plain English the role that the regional Reserve Banks play in formulating U.S. monetary policy.
Each of the 12 regional Reserve Banks and their branches collects grassroots information and anecdotal reports on economic conditions in its area, or district. These insights, along with data, analysis, and forecasts, help paint a "big picture" view of the U.S. economy.
At the Atlanta Fed and its five branches, the boards of directors share their expert observations on the economy. Also, the Bank's Regional Economic Information Network (REIN), through its partnerships with businesses and universities in the region, collects important information about economic conditions on the ground.
Getting the whole story on the U.S. economy is vital. The Federal Reserve's decentralized structure—put in place nearly 100 years ago—allows the central bank to keep its finger on the pulse of the U.S. economy.
Watch the latest video in the Atlanta Fed's animated series to learn more about the regional Reserve Banks and their role formulating the nation's monetary policy.