The Real Deal New York

Fed sounding more likely to raise rates in December

Movement from historically-low benchmark appears increasingly imminent

November 18, 2015 06:00PM

Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen

The Federal Reserve is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate in December, judging from the central bank’s official minutes from its October policy meeting released Wednesday.

While most Fed officials believe the economy will be ready for higher rates come December, the minutes noted an increase from the current, historically-low rates might still be delayed by “unanticipated shocks” or disappointing economic data.

But such warnings appear increasingly formulaic, according to the New York Times, with investors and analysts convinced that a rate hike is imminent following October’s strong jobs report.

“I am comfortable with moving off zero soon, conditioned on no marked deterioration in economic conditions,” Dennis Lockhart, president of the Fed’s Atlanta branch, said Wednesday at a conference in New York.

The central bank has held short-term interest rates near zero since December 2008, a critical element in its policy to stimulate economic growth by encouraging borrowing and risk-taking.

Real estate investors and analysts have expressed concerns, however, that movement on rates could destabilize robust market conditions. [NYT]Rey Mashayekhi

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