Washington: The Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee saw much less risk of recession at its most recent meeting last month, when it kept interest rates steady after three straight cuts and signaled that it expected to keep low rates unchanged through this year.
Minutes of the December meeting, released Friday, showed that Fed officials supported keeping rates in a low range of 1.5% to 1.75% to cushion the US economy from slow global growth and lingering trade tensions. Officials were also concerned that inflation still hadn’t reached its target of 2%.
Still, many Fed policymakers said at the Dec. 10-11 meeting that the risks of a US-China trade war had diminished and that the probability of a disruptive Brexit had also declined. The meeting occurred two days before the U.S. and China reached a preliminary trade deal, though press reports had already suggested that an agreement was near.
Fed officials also noted that the US economy was “showing resilience" despite the trade fight and weak global economy, the minutes said. Changes in interest rates also “suggested that the likelihood of a recession occurring over the medium term had fallen noticeably in recent months."
Since last month’s meeting, however, tensions have flared in the West Asia as the United States has struck Iranian forces in Iraq. That escalated oil prices on Friday and caused the US stock market to decline.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.