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Fed Appears to Hesitate on Raising Interest Rate

New York Times (02/19/15) Binyamin Appelbaum

U.S. Federal Reserve officials have tentatively begun discussions on when to raise interest rates if the economy continues to perform well. No clear outline on when the central bank will raise interest rates has emerged, but staff economists have discussed rate increase timing, refined plans for the mechanics of pushing rates higher, and what guidance for the public will look like on the rate outlook, according to the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes. Fed officials have said previously that they are looking at a mid-year interest rate increase, but the minutes reveal that officials are inclined to wait as long as they can before raising rates, though none were clear on how long that would be. The Fed meets again in March, which could lead to discussions of when interest rate hikes will occur and whether to drop the “be patient” language from its policy statements.