The Federal Reserve is likely to leave interest rates unchanged this year given risks to the U.S. economy from a global slowdown and uncertainty over trade policies and financial conditions, according to the minutes from its March 19-20 policy meeting, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
The U.S. central bank pivoted abruptly at that meeting to a much-less aggressive posture, and the minutes released on Wednesday showed policymakers agreed to be “patient” about making any moves on rates.
“A majority of participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving the target range unchanged for the remainder of the year,” according to the minutes.
U.S. central bankers also debated possible policy moves the Fed could make after it ended its balance sheet reduction program by September, with some advocating purchases of U.S. Treasury securities at that point.
Financial market reaction to the release of the March meeting minutes was largely muted. U.S. stocks were little changed and Treasury yields drifted up from the day’s low
Some policymakers said they might change their minds on whether the Fed’s next move should be to raise or lower rates.
“Several participants noted that their views of the appropriate target range for the federal funds rate could shift in either direction based on incoming data,” according to the minutes.