Fed minutes to give clues about possible June rate hike
Account of latest meeting will give an updated view as economic, policy outlook shifts
At their May 2-3 meeting, Fed officials left the benchmark interest rate unchanged. But minutes detailing the meeting, set to be released at 2 pm today, could indicate what will happen at next month’s gathering.
As the Wall Street Journal writes, the June meeting offers a good opportunity to go ahead with one of the two rate hikes penciled in for this year. Indeed, 88% of economists surveyed by the WSJ expect a rate increase in June.
But there is also speculation that less than spectacular economic numbers since the March hike could influence the Fed’s path. Several Fed officials have expressed their doubts about the strength of the labor market, which will be one factor to look at when the minutes are released.
The minutes will also provide a more up-to-date window into officials’ thinking on the outlook for the Trump administration’s fiscal policy. Minutes from the March meeting showed optimism that tax cuts and spending policies would boost the economy, but the outlook for timely passage of the White House’s agenda items has dimmed significantly since then.