Fed Not In a Hurry To Raise Rates
The minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed that members are not likely to consider raising rates until April and might not inclined to do so if inflation remains at a low level. The minutes from December 16th and 17th voice concern about raising rates and many believe that will keep them at zero for a couple more meetings. Chairman Janet Yellen gave a speech after the meeting about the timing of an interest rate increase and the minutes support her belief that we are still months away from such an action.
Rates haven’t been raised since 2006, and although the minutes show an increased desire to raise them, the minutes also showed that many on the board are still reluctant. And although there are signs of economic strength in America, abroad is a much more difficult picture. They are aiming for an inflation rate of 2% which is only possible if foreign markets do not deteriorate and bring the US economy with them.
Confidence, hiring, and lower gas prices are reasons some felt rate increases were needed. But low oil prices bring down inflation, so others felt the lower gas prices reduced inflation to a level that did not require the rate increase, which are also meant to have the same effect.
FOMC Minutes: How patient Fed going to be?