In a statement today following a two-day meeting of the FOMC, the Federal Reserve upgraded its assessment of the economy’s recent performance and said near-term risks to the outlook have diminished, effectively leaving the door open to raise rates later this year, possibly as early as September, reports WSJ.
Nine of 10 members of the Fed’s policy-making committee voted to leave the benchmark federal-funds rate unchanged at between 0.25% and 0.5%, but they offered a more upbeat description of the labor market and other sectors of the economy.
The labor market has “strengthened,” the Federal Open Market Committee said after its two-day meeting. That was brighter than the FOMC’s assessment six weeks ago, when the central bank said the pace of improvement in jobs growth had “slowed.”
“Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished,” the FOMC said in is statement.
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George voted against the committee’s action on Wednesday because she preferred to raise rates immediately. Ms. George dissented at the March and April meetings, too.
The full statement is here.