Federal Reserve officials at their April meeting mostly brushed aside the wobbly start the U.S. economy has had in 2015, attributing the lack of growth to "transitory" factors that will abate soon.
Meeting minutes show a Fed Open Market Committee with little concern about growth, even though they detailed a laundry list of weak spots that included industrial production, housing and investment. Gross domestic product grew just 0.2 percent in the first quarter—a number likely to be revised to a negative—while the Atlanta Fed is tracking second-quarter growth at just 0.7 percent.
Despite their mostly dismissive tone, FOMC officials nevertheless decided against increasing the committee's benchmark interest rate, a nonmove telegraphed at the March meeting. They even removed language providing any indication of when a liftoff might occur.
As for the key issue of interest rate timing, the minutes indicated "a few" members thought economic and financial conditions would be sufficient for a June liftoff.
However, that sentiment didn't carry the day. (Tweet This)
"Many participants, however, thought it unlikely that the data available in June would provide sufficient confirmation that the conditions for raising the target range for the federal funds rate had been satisfied, although they generally did not rule out this possibility," the minutes said.