Investors will scour the Federal Reserve’s policy statement and economic projections Wednesday for any hint that recent data surprises — including faster-than-expected inflation and slower job growth — have shaken up the central bank’s plans for its cheap-money policies.

Economic policymakers are unlikely to make major changes at a time when interest rates are expected to stay near zero for years to come, but a series of tiny adjustments to their policy messaging and new economic projections could combine to make this week’s meeting one to watch, and an important moment for markets.

The central bank will release new economic forecasts from its 18 officials for the first time since March, when the Fed projected no rate increase until at least 2024. Policymakers could pencil in an earlier move, pulling the initial rate rise forward to 2023.

More in category

The labor shortage is worse than it looks, and help is not on the way
July 30, 2021MarketWatch
The labor shortage is worse than it looks, and help is not on the way
Tenants prepare for unknown as U.S. federal eviction moratorium ends Saturday
July 31, 2021MarketWatch
Tenants prepare for unknown as U.S. federal eviction moratorium ends Saturday
Opinion: Investors are accused of being obsessed with short-term results. The popularity of growth stocks proves otherwise
July 30, 2021MarketWatch
Opinion: Investors are accused of being obsessed with short-term results. The popularity of growth stocks proves otherwise
Home prices could cool when the Fed tapers its bond-buying program. But a crisis? Unlikely
July 31, 2021MarketWatch
Home prices could cool when the Fed tapers its bond-buying program. But a crisis? Unlikely
The U.S. economy is bigger than ever, but it’s still got a few big problems, too
July 31, 2021MarketWatch
The U.S. economy is bigger than ever, but it’s still got a few big problems, too
One government program cut poverty more than any other this year — and it’s ‘extremely unlikely’ to return any time soon
July 29, 2021MarketWatch
One government program cut poverty more than any other this year — and it’s ‘extremely unlikely’ to return any time soon
Opinion: Smart stock investors know to check this telling sign of a company’s health
July 29, 2021MarketWatch
Opinion: Smart stock investors know to check this telling sign of a company’s health
Opinion: Microsoft’s quarterly results show that growth is nowhere near slowing down
July 28, 2021MarketWatch
Opinion: Microsoft’s quarterly results show that growth is nowhere near slowing down
Opinion: You can beat stock market indexes — this fund manager has, and this is how she and her team did it
July 28, 2021MarketWatch
Opinion: You can beat stock market indexes — this fund manager has, and this is how she and her team did it
Got $10,000? 3 Renewable-Energy Stocks to Buy For the Long Term
July 31, 2021The Motley Fool
Got $10,000? 3 Renewable-Energy Stocks to Buy For the Long Term
Sales tax-free holidays: What’s on sale in your state?
July 31, 2021FOX Business
Sales tax-free holidays: What’s on sale in your state?
This tool helps measure how climate friendly your 401(k) is — and dings Amazon.com for its fund offerings
July 27, 2021MarketWatch
This tool helps measure how climate friendly your 401(k) is — and dings Amazon.com for its fund offerings
Billions in rental assistance slow to reach tenants, many at risk of eviction
July 30, 2021FOX Business
Billions in rental assistance slow to reach tenants, many at risk of eviction
Should You Really Be Investing in the Stock Market Right Now?
July 31, 2021The Motley Fool
Should You Really Be Investing in the Stock Market Right Now?
Toys for Tots prepares for supply shortage this holiday season
July 31, 2021FOX Business
Toys for Tots prepares for supply shortage this holiday season
Nonprofits Get a New Type of Donation: Cryptocurrency
July 30, 2021The NY Times
Nonprofits Get a New Type of Donation: Cryptocurrency
Pinterest stock in danger of sharpest drop on record as pandemic recovery weighs on user growth
July 30, 2021MarketWatch
Pinterest stock in danger of sharpest drop on record as pandemic recovery weighs on user growth
Can You Retire a Millionaire Using Only a 401(k)?
July 31, 2021The Motley Fool
Can You Retire a Millionaire Using Only a 401(k)?
Adding $500 to These 3 Stocks Would Be a Brilliant Move
July 31, 2021The Motley Fool
Adding $500 to These 3 Stocks Would Be a Brilliant Move
My Top High-Yield Dividend Stock to Buy Now
July 31, 2021The Motley Fool
My Top High-Yield Dividend Stock to Buy Now
The Zen of the Olympic Bullpen Cart, most popular transportation in Tokyo
July 31, 2021FOX Business
The Zen of the Olympic Bullpen Cart, most popular transportation in Tokyo