The following are the Federal Reserve's staff forecasts as contained in the minutes of recent Federal Open Market Committee meetings:

JULY 30-31 FOMC: Minutes released on August 21:

"The data received since the forecast was prepared for the previous FOMC meeting suggested that real GDP growth was weaker, on net, in the first half of the year than had been anticipated.3 Nevertheless, the staff still expected that real GDP would accelerate in the second half of the year. Part of this projected increase in the rate of real GDP growth reflected the staff's expectation that the drag on economic growth from fiscal policy would be smaller in the second half as the pace of reductions in federal government purchases slowed and as the restraint on growth in consumer spending stemming from the higher taxes put in place at the beginning of the year diminished. For the year as a whole, the staff anticipated that the rate of growth of real GDP would only slightly exceed that of potential output. The staff's projection for real GDP growth over the medium term was essentially unrevised, as higher equity prices were seen as offsetting the restrictive effects of the increase in longer-term interest rates. The staff continued to forecast that the rate of real GDP growth would strengthen in 2014 and 2015, supported by a further easing in the effects of fiscal policy restraint on economic growth, increases in consumer and business confidence, additional improvements in credit availability, and accommodative monetary policy. The expansion in economic activity was anticipated to lead to a slow reduction in the slack in labor and product markets over the projection period, and the unemployment rate was expected to decline gradually.

"The staff's forecast for inflation was little changed from the projection prepared for the previous FOMC meeting. The staff continued to judge that much of the recent softness in consumer price inflation would be transitory and that inflation would pick up somewhat in the second half of this year. With longer-run inflation expectations assumed to remain stable, changes in commodity and import prices expected to be modest, and significant resource slack persisting over the forecast period, inflation was forecast to be subdued through 2015.

"The staff continued to see numerous risks around the forecast. Among the downside risks for economic activity were the uncertain effects and future course of fiscal policy, the possibility of adverse developments in foreign economies, and concerns about the ability of the U.S. economy to weather potential future adverse shocks. The most salient risk for the inflation outlook was that the recent softness in inflation would not abate as anticipated.

"3 The staff's forecast for the July FOMC meeting was prepared before the BEA released its estimate for real GDP in the second quarter and the revisions for earlier periods."

JUNE 18-19 FOMC: Minutes released on July 10:

"In the economic forecast prepared by the staff for the June FOMC meeting, the projection for near-term growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) was little changed from the one prepared for the previous meeting. However, the staff's medium-term projection for real GDP was revised up somewhat. The staff raised its projected paths for equity and home prices, which pushed up expected consumer spending over the medium term, and boosted its outlook for domestic oil production, which reduced oil imports in the forecast. These positive factors were partly offset in the staff's medium-term GDP projection by higher projected paths for both longer-term interest rates and the foreign exchange value of the dollar. Nevertheless, with fiscal policy expected to restrain economic growth this year, the staff still anticipated that the pace of expansion in real GDP would only moderately exceed the growth rate of potential output. The staff also continued to forecast that real GDP would accelerate gradually in 2014 and 2015, supported by accommodative monetary policy, an eventual easing in the effects of fiscal policy restraint on economic growth, increases in consumer and business sentiment, and further improvements in credit availability and financial conditions. The expansion in economic activity was anticipated to slowly reduce the slack in labor and product markets over the projection period, and the unemployment rate was expected to decline gradually. In addition, although the staff did not change its view of the longer-run level of the natural rate of unemployment, it judged that the natural rate was on a more pronounced downward trajectory back toward its longer-run level than previously assumed; as a result, the staff's projection for the unemployment rate over the next two years was revised down a little, relative to its previous forecast.

"The staff's forecast for inflation in the near term was also revised down a little from the projection prepared for the previous FOMC meeting, reflecting in part some of the recent softer-than-expected readings on consumer prices. Nonetheless, the staff expected that much of the recent softness in inflation would be transitory, and thus did not materially change its medium-term projection. The staff projected that inflation would pick up in the second half of this year, but given the assumption of stable longer-run inflation expectations and only modest changes in commodity and import prices as well as forecasts of gradually diminishing resource slack over the projection period, inflation was projected to still be relatively subdued through 2015.

"The staff viewed the uncertainty around the forecast for economic activity as normal relative to the experience of the past 20 years. However, the risks were still viewed as skewed to the downside, in part because of concerns about the situation in Europe and the ability of the U.S. economy to weather potential adverse shocks. Although the staff saw the outlook for inflation as uncertain, the risks were viewed as balanced and not unusually high."

APRIL 30-MAY 1 FOMC: Minutes released on May 22:

"In the economic forecast prepared by the staff for the April 30-May 1 FOMC meeting, the projection for real GDP growth was little revised from that prepared for the March meeting. With fiscal policy expected to be tighter this year than last year, the staff still anticipated that the pace of expansion in real GDP would only somewhat exceed the growth rate of potential output in 2013. The staff also continued to project that real GDP would accelerate gradually in 2014 and 2015, supported by an eventual easing in the effects of fiscal policy restraint on economic growth, increases in consumer and business sentiment, further improvements in credit availability and financial conditions, and accommodative monetary policy. The expansion in economic activity was anticipated to slowly reduce the slack in labor and product markets over the projection period, and the unemployment rate was expected to decline gradually.

"The staff's forecast for inflation was also little revised from the projection prepared for the March FOMC meeting. With longer-run inflation expectations assumed to remain stable, energy prices expected to continue to trend down, and significant resource slack persisting over the forecast period, the staff continued to project that inflation would remain subdued through 2015.

"The staff viewed the uncertainty around its forecast for economic activity as similar to the average level over the past 20 years. However, the risks to this outlook were viewed as skewed to the downside, reflecting in part concerns about the situation in Europe. Although the staff saw the outlook for inflation as uncertain, the risks were viewed as balanced and not unusually high."

MARCH 19-20 FOMC: Minutes released on April 10:

"In the economic forecast prepared by the staff for the March FOMC meeting, real GDP growth was revised down somewhat in the near term, largely reflecting the federal spending sequestration that went into effect on March 1 and the resulting drag from reduced govern- ment purchases. The staff's medium-term forecast for real GDP growth was little changed, on balance, as the effects of somewhat more fiscal policy restraint and a higher assumed path for the foreign exchange value of the dollar were essentially offset by a brighter outlook for domestic energy production and a higher projection for household wealth, which reflected upward revisions to the projected paths for both equity prices and home prices. On balance, with fiscal policy expected to be tighter in 2013 than in 2012, the staff expected that increases in real GDP this year would only modestly exceed the growth rate of potential output. Fiscal poli- cy restraint on economic growth was assumed to ease over time, and real GDP was projected to accelerate gradually in 2014 and 2015, supported by increases in consumer and business sentiment, further improve- ments in credit availability and financial conditions, and accommodative monetary policy. The expansion in economic activity was anticipated to slowly reduce the slack in labor and product markets over the projection period, and progress in reducing the unemployment rate was expected to be gradual.

"The staff's forecast for inflation was little changed from the projection prepared for the January FOMC meet- ing. With crude oil prices anticipated to trend down slowly from their current levels, long-run inflation ex- pectations assumed to remain stable, and significant resource slack persisting over the forecast period, the staff continued to project that inflation would be sub- dued through 2015.

"The staff viewed the uncertainty around its forecast for economic activity as similar to the average level over the past 20 years. However, the risks were viewed as skewed to the downside, reflecting in part the concerns about the situation in Europe and the possibility of a more severe tightening in U.S. fiscal policy than cur- rently anticipated. The staff saw the uncertainty around its projection for inflation as about average, and it viewed the risks to the inflation outlook as roughly bal- anced."