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Fed Minutes Reveal Raising Rates Still on Table


A look at the official account of the Federal Reserve policy meeting in June reveals that officials may still be preparing to raise interest rates this year. As reported by the New York Times, Fed policy makers continue to tweak their plans for the first rate increase in almost a decade.The account released on Wednesday did not reveal the exact timing of a rate hike, but some analysts believe that may come as soon as September. Recent economic data, including signs that wages are beginning to rise, were viewed as a positive for officials and seen as a sign that the labor market is finally returning to full health. Officials believe the poor economic data from the winter months was more a product of shortcomings in the government’s measuring sticks than an actual downturn. The meeting was held prior to the drop in the Chinese stock market and the testy negotiations in Greece, but officials were anticipating the potential for new problems. Also of note: the calculation of the benchmark federal funds rate will be undergoing a change. The Fed will now report the median instead of the average interest rate for loans between banks in the federal funds market. [NYT]