Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Divided Fed?

According to the minutes released yesterday, Federal Reserve officials at their July meeting were relieved that their concerns over Brexit and the job market eased. But as for the big question on interest rates, they were divided over whether that meant they should quickly raise them again.

Fed officials voted 9 to 1 to hold rates steady at the meeting. According to the minutes, two Fed officials pushed for a rate hike at the meeting, but more officials judged it was a good idea to wait for additional information.

Fed officials in recent days have stressed that a rate hike could come at any of the three remaining meetings this year — in September, November or December. New York Fed President William Dudley said earlier this week that a rate hike in September was possible, but the minutes  said simply that Fed officials would be “open” and “flexible” about when to take another step.

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