Monetary authorities spent their most recent policy meeting agreeing that the economy was improving and no longer needed stimulus tools such as asset purchases, though concerns persisted that inflation expectations may be falling, the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting released last Wednesday revealed.
At its October monetary policy meeting, the Fed left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.00-0.25% and said it was closing its monthly bond-buying program in a move widely expected by markets.
While the economy is improving, some monetary authorities want to be sure recovery remains sustained before raising interest rates, which is seen taking place sometime in 2015, with a few voting members expressing concerns that inflationary pressures remain soft.
“Participants anticipated that inflation would be held down over the near term by the decline in energy prices and other factors, but would move toward the Committee’s 2 percent goal in coming years, although a few expressed concern that inflation might persist below the Committee’s objective for quite some time,” the minutes read.
“Most viewed the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced. However, a number of participants noted that economic growth over the medium term might be slower than they currently expected if the foreign economic or financial situation deteriorated significantly.”