In its April Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the US central bank acknowledged the slowdown in the economy, the minutes showed on Wednesday. Although the slowdown is considered to be “transitory,” the central bank ruled out a rate hike in June.
Following previous indicators, the Fed policymakers said while growth slowed, job gains moderated and labour underutilisation changed slightly since last meeting. The minutes also showed most participants expected the US economy to recover after a slowdown in the first quarter.
The US economy nearly stalled in the first quarter, with a slow growth of 0.2 percent at an annual rate. The data marked a much slower growth than the expectations of 1 percent and the fourth quarter’s 2.2 percent expansion.
The Fed has kept its key funds rate at near zero since late 2008 and will have two months of economic data gathered to consider a rate hike before its June policy meeting.
Investors are awaiting Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday, with all eyes on whether she believes the economy remains on track, or signals to a weaker US economy.