When the Federal Reserve board meets this week, a wobbly economy will be heavy on their minds. After raising rates for the first time in a decade in December, the board is looking to possibly raise rates again in June. However, the economy has not continued an upward path since December, making the board’s job more difficult.
Reuters is reporting that the board “remain(s) spooked by the steep stock market drop earlier this year and by weak first-quarter U.S. economic data. Concrete signs of higher inflation and growth may be needed before the FOMC, the Fed’s policy committee, continues with the projected gradual path toward more normal levels of interest rates.”
For the Feds to stay on a path of possibly raising rates again in June, a more tepid reaction from the board is expected this week. Reuters writes that the Feds see “weakness in retail sales and international trade, as well as concern about China’s economy, are among reasons Fed Chair Janet Yellen will stay cautious about further rate hikes before the second half of the year.”
You can read Reuters analysis of the Fed’s upcoming board meeting on its website.