The next interest rate increase could be closer than it appears.
That's after documents released Wednesday show that Federal Reserve officials spent their meeting three weeks ago consumed with the changes brought on by a new administration in the White House — concluding with a strong indication that another hike could be just around the corner.
The Federal Open Market Committee — the central bank's policymaking arm — discussed at length the impact from lower taxes and regulations and higher domestic spending under President Donald Trump, according to minutes of the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 session.
The meeting was the first since Trumptook office, following his stunning November election upset. The president's name was never mentioned in the minutes, but the broad brushes of his agenda show up often.
Members reported hearing higher levels of confidence in the business community. And they predicted that the expected increase in economic growth related to Trump's policy proposals could push the Fed into action.
"Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon" if data on jobs and inflation are "in line with or stronger than their current expectations," or if the risk increased that the Fed might overshoot its goals, the meeting summary stated.
Jobs numbers indeed have been solid and the consumer price index inflation indicator is at its highest level in years.
The U.S. Treasury yield curve flattened slightly following the minutes' release, with the short-term two-year note yield trading higher, near 1.23 percent, and the benchmark 10-year note yield slipping to 2.41 percent.