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Aug 21, 2015

Fed’s tightening cycle scenario involves risky bet on inflation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve officials planning to lift interest rates as soon as September have been encouraged by solid U.S. jobs growth, but inflation holds the key to how far the Fed can go in moving rates away from zero.

Fed officials have said that they do not need to see prices accelerate to start raising rates after six years near zero, and “lift-off” appears nearly ordained by a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, the lowest since April of 2008.

Aug 20, 2015

Strong jobs, weak inflation data muddy Fed rate debate – minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve officials widely agreed last month the economy was nearing the point where interest rates should move higher, but worried lagging inflation and a weak global economy posed too big a risk to commit to “liftoff.”

Only one Fed policymaker was ready to vote for a rate hike at the central bank’s July 28-29 policy meeting, while some others “viewed the economic conditions for beginning to increase the target range for the federal funds rate as having been met or were confident that they would be met shortly,” according to minutes from the meeting released on Wednesday.

Aug 19, 2015

Job growth edged Fed toward rate hike, inflation a drag: minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An improving job market edged the U.S. Federal Reserve closer to an interest rate hike at its July meeting, but policymakers continued to fret that lagging inflation and a weak global economy posed too big a risk to commit to a “liftoff,” according to minutes released on Wednesday.

Only one Fed policymaker was ready to vote for a rate hike at the July 28-29 meeting, while some others “viewed the economic conditions for beginning to increase the target range for the federal funds rate as having been met or were confident that they would be met shortly,” according to the minutes.

Aug 15, 2015

IMF: Yuan reforms could bring China ‘quite close’ to floating rate

WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Recent changes to how China
manages its currency could bring the country “quite close to a
float” in its exchange rate, a top International Monetary Fund
official said on Friday in a review of the country’s economy.

The new system in theory could allow the currency value to
move as much as 10 percent a week and be close to a rate that
markets might set on their own, Markus Rodlauer, the IMF’s
mission chief for China, said.

Aug 7, 2015

Labor market swagger has Fed warming to September rate hike

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve
officials are growing more comfortable with the idea of
beginning to tighten policy next month, as the U.S. labor
market’s improvement makes it harder for even dovish officials
to justify historically low interest rates.

Data on Friday pointing to a firming economy and job market,
as well as comments from Fed officials, suggest weak U.S.
inflation and outside risks like China’s recent stock market
crash are unlikely to dissuade the central bank from raising
rates at a mid-September meeting.

Jul 31, 2015

Fed’s “nearly balanced” language no bar to Sept rate rise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve will not need to see balanced risks to the economy to proceed with an interest rate hike in September, according to former Fed officials and a review of central bank statements through recent turns in policy.

In its latest statement, released Wednesday, the Fed said it continued to judge the risks to the U.S. economy as “nearly balanced,” meaning it still sees a greater threat of a new downturn than it does of accelerating inflation and excessive growth.

Jul 30, 2015

Fed’s ‘nearly balanced’ language no bar to September rate rise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve will not need to see balanced risks to the economy to proceed with an interest rate hike in September, according to former Fed officials and a review of central bank statements through recent turns in policy.

In its latest statement, released Wednesday, the Fed said it continued to judge the risks to the U.S. economy as “nearly balanced,” meaning it still sees a greater threat of a new downturn than it does of accelerating inflation and excessive growth.

Jul 30, 2015

Fed says economy improving; September rate hike in view

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, leaving the door open for a possible interest rate hike when central bank policymakers next meet in September.

Following their latest two-day policy meeting, Fed officials said they felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was “expanding moderately” despite a downturn in the energy sector and headwinds from overseas.

Jul 30, 2015

U.S. Federal Reserve says economy improving; September rate hike in view

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, leaving the door open for a possible interest rate hike when central bank policymakers next meet in September.

Following their latest two-day policy meeting, Fed officials said they felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was “expanding moderately” despite a downturn in the energy sector and headwinds from overseas.

Jul 29, 2015

Fed sees improving economy, jobs; September hike in view but not set

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy and job
market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on
Wednesday, leaving the door open for a possible interest rate
hike when central bank policymakers next meet in September.

Following a two-day policy meeting, Fed officials said they
felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was
“expanding moderately” despite a downturn in the energy sector
and headwinds from overseas.