Bullish US Federal Reserve holds interest rates steady

Federal Reserve minutes point to rate hike ‘fairly soon’

International News

Many Federal Reserve policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again “fairly soon” should jobs and inflation data come in line with expectations, according to the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting released on Wednesday. The minutes of the January 31-February 1 discussion, at which the U.S. central bank voted to keep rates unchanged, also showed the depth of uncertainty at the Fed because of a lack of clarity on the new Trump administration’s economic program. “Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon if incoming information on the labor market and inflation was in line with or stronger than their current expectations,” the Fed said in the minutes. Last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said waiting too long to raise rates again would be “unwise” and gave a strong indication that the central bank remains on track to consider raising rates again by the summer. Fed Governor Jerome Powell, one of the voting members at the central bank’s last policy meeting, said on Wednesday a rate hike would be on the table at the Fed’s next meeting in March.