Fed signals readiness to hike interest rates if economy stays on track

U.S. central bankers are ready to hike interest rates if the economy stays on track, according to a record released Wednesday of the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting.

“Many participants suggested that if incoming data continued to support their current economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate to take another step in removing policy accommodation,” minutes of the July 31-Aug. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting said.

The minutes cited “a sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions and inflation near the committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term” as support for further gradual increases in their target rate.

Some participants expressed concern “that a prolonged period in which the economy operated beyond potential could give rise to inflationary pressures or to financial imbalances that could eventually trigger an economic downturn.” All participants referenced ongoing trade disputes as important sources of risk and uncertainty, the minutes said.

Following the report, U.S. stocks fluctuated and the dollar fell.

Staff forecasted that the economy will continue to grow “at an above-trend pace.”

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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