Federal Reserve officials who favor hiking interest rates worry that waiting too long could send the country into a recession.
At an unusually divisive Federal Open Market Committee meeting in September, hawkish members said history holds a worrisome lesson for a central bank that has kept a historically accommodative monetary policy in place for the past eight years.
"A few participants referred to historical episodes when the unemployment rate appeared to have fallen well below its estimated longer-run normal level. They observed that monetary tightening in those episodes typically had been followed by recession and a large increase in the unemployment rate," said a summary of the meeting released Wednesday.
The worry is that if the Fed waits too long, it could be forced into having to raise rates aggressively to slow the economy.