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U.S. Fed officials see rate hike relatively soon, minutes show

Xinhua, November 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

U.S. Federal Reserve officials see the appropriate timing to raise interest rate relatively soon, with some eyeing the next meeting in December, minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting showed Wednesday.

"Most participants expressed a view that it could well become appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate relatively soon, so long as incoming data provided some further evidence of continued progress toward the (Federal Open Market) Committee's objectives," the minutes of the Fed's November 1-2 meeting released Wednesday showed.

Some officials pointed out "an increase should occur at the next meeting," referring that the meeting on Dec. 13 and 14 could be the appropriate time to raise rate.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged in its November meeting amid uncertainty about market reactions to the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, but signaled that the central bank could raise rates again as soon as December.

According to the minutes, many officials warned that economic and financial stability risks would increase if the labor market overheated or the low interest rates were kept for too long. While some officials noted that allowing unemployment rate to fall below its longer-run normal level could help drive the inflation rate up to the Fed's 2 percent target at a relatively fast pace.

Fed chair Janet Yellen said last week that it will be appropriate for the central bank to hike interest rate relatively soon, and warned of the risks of keeping rate low for too long.

The Fed will hold its next policy meeting, also the final of the year, on Dec. 13-14. Investors widely expected the Fed would move the rates at the December meeting. Enditem