FOMC Minutes: Policymakers thought a rate hike “might be”appropriate “fairly soon”

The Minutes from the January (31st & Feb 1st) Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting have been published, highlighting that most policymakers thought a rate hike “might be”appropriate “fairly soon.

Key headlines:

  • Many saw only modest risk inflation pressures will rise significantly.
  • Many Fed policy makers with a vote on rate policy saw modest risk inflation pressures will rise significantly.
  • Many Fed policymakers judged Fed would have ‘ample time’ to respond if inflationary pressures emerged.
  • Fed officials with and without a vote on policy generally agreed on the need to begin discussion at upcoming meetings on how to change balance sheet reinvestment policy.
  • Fed officials with a vote on policy agreed that even with uncertainty over gov policies, near-term risks to economy roughly balanced.
  • Fed officials with and without a vote on policy saw increasing upside to the economy given the possibility of expansionary fiscal policy.
  • Among Fed officials with and without a vote on policy, several saw downside economic risks associated with the potential appreciation of the dollar.