Federal Reserve minutes: Policymakers divided on timing of rate hike

Jessica Morris
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Fed officials are divided on a rate hike (Source: Getty)

The Fed finally lost its "patience" last month, a move initially thought to imply short-term rates would rise in June, but then fed chair Janet Yellen tempered expectations by saying this "doesn't mean we are going to be impatient". And now we know why.

Minutes released today show a marked divergence among officials on whether they should hike rates in June. Several thought it would be a prime time, but others argued the strong dollar and low global oil prices would continue to inhibit inflation meaning that the fed should delay a rate hike.

"Several participants judged that the economic data and outlook were likely to warrant beginning normalisation at the June meeting," the minutes from the Fed's March 17-18 policy meeting said.

"However, others anticipated that the effects of energy price declines and the dollar's appreciation would continue to weigh on inflation in the near term, suggesting that conditions likely would not be appropriate to begin raising rates until later in the year, and a couple of participants suggested that the economic outlook likely would not call for liftoff until 2016."

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