Further US rate hikes 'most likely' needed: Fed minutes

18 October, 2018, 20:23 | Author: Regina Silva

Some members of the rate-setting panel - the Federal Open Market Committee - also indicated it might be necessary to raise rates more aggressively to keep the economy from overheating.

Trump told Reuters in August he was "not thrilled" with Fed Chair Jerome Powell for raising interest rates, and has since escalated his criticism, this week saying the central bank is his "biggest threat", and last week calling the Fed "crazy", "loco", "ridiculous", and "too cute".

As well as making life more hard for USA exporters, a stronger greenback also raises the borrowing costs of many heavily-indebted emerging market economies, such as those in Latin America which have high levels of dollar-denominated borrowing.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that Trump respects the independence of the Fed despite even though he prefers low interest rates, the Associated Press reports. Trump blamed the Fed's string of rate hikes for the market turmoil.

The Fed minutes did not include any discussion of Trump's attacks.

"There are a lot of other people there I'm not so happy with", he said.

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This would move USA interest rates slightly above what policymakers say is "neutral" - that is, neither slowing nor speeding the economy - but some participants said the Fed would need to go even further than that.

A decade on from the start of the financial crisis the economy is growing at a faster rate than expected, inflation is firming and the unemployment rate remains at a record low, the Fed's record showed. But others argued against stronger tightening of monetary policy without "clear signs" the economy is running hot.

The Fed also took notice of clouds forming on the horizon.

Furthermore, "some" at the meeting said risks grew as the United States economy increasingly outpaced its rivals" more sluggish growth "because of the potential for further strengthening of the dollar'.

Some investors say that, after years of easy money, pockets of risk have built up throughout the global economy as borrowing costs begin to increase - raising the chances that a bubble could burst or banks could see significant defaults on debt. "I'm anxious about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates".

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