Interest rates likely to remain unchanged, Fed's meeting minutes show
Officials at the Fed’s Jan. 28-29 policy meeting mostly “saw the distribution of risks to the outlook for economic activity as more favorable than at the previous meeting, although a number of downside risks remained prominent,” according to minutes released Wednesday.
No sooner had the U.S. and China signed a deal that eased trade tensions last month than the coronavirus outbreak in China rekindled doubts about the global economy’s prospects in 2020.
The minutes referred eight times to the coronavirus outbreak. Officials agreed the potential for disruptions from the virus “warranted close watching,” the minutes said.
The Fed cut its benchmark rate at three consecutive meetings last year, to a range between 1.5% and 1.75%, after judging that any chill to business spending from trade uncertainty threatened to worsen slowing global growth. Officials held the rate steady at their last two meetings, in December and January, and indicated no urgency to reverse the cuts.