Surprise, surprise. The Fed isn't going to raise rates in June after all.
While the just-released minutes of the Fed's April 28-29 monetary policy meeting revealed the central bank "did not rule" out the possibility of raising rates at its June 16-17 meeting, "many participants thought it unlikely that the data available would provide sufficient confirmation that the conditions for raising the target range for the federal funds rate had been satisfied."
In other words, economic reports over the past several months haven't come close to giving the Fed comfort to start normalizing monetary policy – i.e., raising rates – without jeopardizing growth, or what little there has been recently.
In the first quarter, U.S. GDP rose only 0.2%, down from the 2.2% growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2014. But economists are now expecting that figure to be revised downward next Friday, possibly to show negative growth. [Continue reading]