Fed in no hurry to raise interest rates
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials struggled last month to assess when economic data might prompt them to raise interest rates from record lows — and how best to convey their intentions to investors.
Minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 27-28 meeting released Wednesday suggest that policymakers aren’t ready to start raising rates anytime soon, with some expressing concerns about excessively low inflation, lingering weakness in the U.S. job market and economic threats overseas.
The Fed’s benchmark interest rate has been near zero since December 2008.
Many officials “observed that a premature increase in rates might damp the apparent solid recovery in real activity and labor market conditions,” said the minutes, released after a customary three-week delay.
Analysts said they believed the minutes made a June rate hike less likely, given the concerns expressed by various Fed officials about the state of the economy.
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