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Fed Commits to Patience in Interest Rate Hikes

FedComing out of their first Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of 2015, Federal Reserve officials gave no sign of straying from their likely path of slowly bringing interest rates up later this year.

In its post-meeting statement, the committee expressed considerably more optimism about the direction of the economy than it has in recent years, pointing to the "solid pace" of economic expansion and "strong job gains" reported since last month.

Also encouraging, the statement says, is the recent rise in household spending as energy prices have declined.

Nevertheless, policymakers are apparently in no hurry to start hiking interest rates just yet, bringing back language from the last FOMC statement: "Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy."

Projections from economists and Fed leaders largely indicate the central bank will wait until June or later before starting to push rates up.

Part of what's slowing the group down is a decline in inflation, though the statement writes it off as a temporary factor brought on by falling energy prices.

Also rating a (very) brief mention is the ongoing economic crisis in the eurozone, which the Fed says it will take into account in further policy discussions.

No voting members dissented to the statement, though that could be due to the fact that the recent dissenters—including Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, all of whom dissented in December—were cycled off the ranks of voting members.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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