The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates as soon as next month, the minutes from a recent policy meeting show.
In the minutes, released Wednesday, official at the U.S. central bank said it would “soon be appropriate” to raise short-term interest rates again, the Wall Street Journal reported. That means the Fed may lift its benchmark rate at the scheduled gathering in June, according to the newspaper.
Officials also moved toward a consensus on the plan to decrease the Fed’s $4.6 trillion in holdings of Treasury and mortgage securities later in the year, by letting those securities mature without reinvestment.
“Most participants judged that if economic information came in about in line with their expectations, it would soon be appropriate for the committee to take another step in removing policy accommodation,” according to the minutes cited by the Journal.
In March, the Fed increased its benchmark interest rate to a range between 0.75 and 1 percent — the third time the Fed has raised interest rates since the 2009 financial crisis.
Officials also indicated at the meeting that they are expecting to raise rates at least twice more this year, and said they expect interest rates will settle at an average 3 percent by the end of 2019.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 13-14. [WSJ] — Miriam Hall