The majority of Federal Reserve officials expressed their approval for not raising the interest rates before late April this year as a part of its new policy guidance, according to the minutes of meeting of the American central bank in December last year.
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on December 16-17, which was released on Wednesday in Washington, showed “Most participants thought the reference to patience suggested that the committee was not likely to commence the normalization process for at least the next couple of meetings.”
The fed officials also expressed their serious concern over the low rate of inflation.
According to the minutes, Chair Janet Yellen also gained broad support from the officials for her assessment of the probable timing of the hike in interest rates that she had delivered at a press conference following the fed meeting.
The central bankers also reviewed a wide set of data that showed the recovery of the country’s economy was holding its own despite the fluctuations in the global economy, for instance, the recession threatening Europe and Japan and a slowdown in major emerging markets.
The tumbling oil prices also pushed the US economy further from the inflation target set by Fed, but the consumers’ confidence also boosted, more jobs were created and the business investments also appeared steady.
“Many participants pointed to relatively high levels of consumer confidence as signaling near-term strength in discretionary consumer spending, and most participants judged that the recent significant decline in energy prices would provide a boost,” the minutes said.
The minutes of the meeting further said, “Industry contacts pointed to generally solid business conditions, with businesses in many parts of the country expressing some optimism about prospects for further improvement in 2015. Manufacturing activity was strong.”
As the inflation still low and the economic activity for Japan and euro zone seems gloomy, the Fed has not committed to any exact timetable for raising interest rates.