FOMC minutes: Participants felt an interest rate increase was warranted in near-term
The minutes from the November Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting have been published, revealing that many participants felt an interest rate increase was warranted in the near term if the U.S. economy remained on track. Below are the key highlights as reported by Reuters.
Meeting included broad inflation debate, with a few participants saying rate hike should be deferred until data showed inflation was clearly on a path to Fed's 2 percent target.
Concerns about inflation were widely shared; "many participants" observed that weak inflation could prove persistent and may reflect drop in inflation expectations.
Discussion also included possibility Fed itself may have undercut inflation expectations by tightening monetary policy while price rises were below its target.
A couple of participants discussed possibility that "alternative frameworks," such as price level targeting, might be warranted given persistent inflation shortfall.
Most participants, however, continued to think that tighter labor markets would ultimately produce higher inflation.
Many participants said the economy is operating at or above full employment and would continue growing above trend.
Fed: Yellen warns against raising rates too quickly - BBH.
Analysts at BBH point out that at a speech in NY late yesterday, Yellen warned against raising rates too quickly and repeated her sense of mystery over the decline in inflation this year.
Fed: Choice of Powell as Fed Chair suggests no change in policy - Nomura.
In the US, President Trump nominated Fed Governor Jerome Powell to serve as the next Fed chairman instead of reappointing Janet Yellen who is a similar candidate, according to Richard Koo, chief economist at Nomura.
About the FOMC minutes
FOMC stands for The Federal Open Market Committee that organizes 8 meetings in a year and reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. FOMC Minutes are released by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and are a clear guide to the future US interest rate policy.