Though there are a few fractures, the Federal Reserve's foundation against rate hikes remains pretty much intact.
A summary from the July Federal Open Market Committee meeting shows that there are some central bank officials who are ready to resume the tepid tightening policy begun in December that marked the first rate increase in more than nine years.
However, those looking for action anytime soon will be disappointed.
Understanding why requires peeking through the exercise in language ambiguity that the central bank uses.
A neophyte could look at last month's minutes and quickly jump on a statement that "some" members indicated that the economy had improved enough for the Fed to approve a quarter-point hike either at the July meeting or sometime "soon," ostensibly the next FOMC gathering in September. Specifically:
[S]ome other participants viewed recent economic developments as indicating that labor market conditions were at or close to those consistent with maximum employment and expected that the recent progress in reaching the Committee's inflation objective would continue, even with further steps to gradually remove monetary policy accommodation. Given their economic outlook, they judged that another increase in the federal funds rate was or would soon be warranted, with a couple of them advocating an increase at this meeting.