As U.S. central bankers prepare to raise borrowing costs next month, their discussion about how high to lift their target interest rate is intensifying.
Their forecasts call for strong labor markets and robust growth at a time when inflation is already slightly above their goal. At the same time, there are potential headwinds from trade disputes, waning fiscal stimulus and the lurking danger of financial instabilities that tend to build up over long periods of low policy rates during lengthy expansions.
The minutes released Wednesday from the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 31 - August 1 meeting left little doubt that Chairman Jerome Powell plans to raise the benchmark lending rate next month, saying “it would likely soon be appropriate to take another step in removing policy accommodation.” Investors will be looking for more insight at this week’s meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
A September hike would put the benchmark lending rate in a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, just under the bottom of officials’ 2.3 percent to 3.5 percent range of estimates for the so-called neutral rate, economics lingo for the level that neither stimulates nor holds back the economy.
Read more in Bloomberg.