Most Federal Reserve officials agreed their new policy guidance means they are unlikely to raise interest rates before late April, and a number expressed concern inflation could remain too low, minutes of their December meeting showed.
“Most participants thought the reference to patience indicated that the committee was unlikely to begin the normalization process for at least the next couple of meetings,” according to the minutes of the Dec. 16-17 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released today in Washington.
Bloomberg reported that the minutes indicate broad support on the committee for Chair Janet Yellen’s assessment of the likely timing of an interest-rate increase she delivered at a press conference following the meeting.
With the U.S. economy strengthening and unemployment at a six-year low, the FOMC in December dropped a pledge to keep interest rates low for a “considerable time.” The panel instead said it will be “patient” as it weighs when to raise rates for the first time since 2006.
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