Daily News: August 18, 2016

Fed Minutes: Momentum Building for Rate Hike


According to the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting in Washington, some of those who attended the meeting think that another increase of the federal funds rate was or would soon be warranted. A couple even went so far as to advocate an increase at the meeting.

The following are excepts from the minutes:

  • Members agreed that household spending had been growing, but business fixed investment had been soft. Several members expressed concern about the likelihood of a further reduction in the pace of job gains, and it was noted that if slowing turned out to be persistent, the case for increasing the target range for the federal funds rate in the near term would be less compelling.
  • Regarding the financial market consequences of the UK referendum on membership in the EU, most members pointed to the quick recovery of financial market conditions since the “leave” vote as an encouraging sign of resilience in global financial markets that helped reduce near-term uncertainty about the outlook for the U.S. economy.
  • Real private expenditures for business equipment and intellectual property appeared to have declined for a third consecutive quarter. The group noted that recent readings from national and regional surveys of business conditions suggested some pickup in business equipment spending in the near term. The number of oil and gas rigs in operations, an indicator of spending for structures in the drilling and mining sector, fell through late May but edged up through mid-July.