Fed Officials Debate Timing Of Interest Rate Hike

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Minutes of the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting show that a number of officials believe the benchmark rate should rise sooner than is currently expected.


There's been a big debate at the Federal Reserve about when to begin raising its closely watched interest rate. That debate continued at the Fed's most recent meeting late last month. Minutes from that meeting are out and they have some things to tell us. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: The most recent forecast from Fed officials suggests the first rate hike is likely to come some time in the second half of next year. But former Fed governor Randall Kroszner says minutes of the Fed's recent meeting show a number of officials believe the central bank should begin raising rates sooner.

RANDALL KROSZNER: Some Fed members believe that there's not very much slack in the economy, the employment rate is coming down and that we need to move quickly.

YDSTIE: But, the minutes also revealed that a majority of policymakers, including Fed chair Janet Yellen, are looking beyond improvements in the unemployment rate and believe the labor market still needs the Fed's help.

KROSZNER: Janet Yellen is focusing on long-term unemployed people who are part-time workers who would prefer to be full-time; who would be at the very low level of workforce participation. And looking at those factors suggests that there's still a long way to go for the labor market to recover.

YDSTIE: So far, subdued inflation has allowed the Fed to continue its stimulative low interest rate policy. But Kroszner cautions that inflation can become a threat quickly in an improving economy.

John Ydstie. NPR News, Washington.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from