The Federal Open Market Committee is a branch of the US Federal Reserve responsible for overseeing the health of the US economy and determining monetary policy. The FOMC meets several times a year to discuss economic conditions.
Its mandate is to maintain full employment and keep inflation in check. It has several tools for achieving these goals, such as increasing the money supply and raising or cutting interest rates.
FOMC meetings are considered to be a highly impactful economic indicator as the policies decided on and announced by this group have immediate impacts on the economy and the markets.
Members in favour of keeping rates high are considered “hawks”, members in favour of accommodative monetary policies, including low-interest rates and/or money printing are considered “doves”.