Fed officials stress patience in rate hike talks

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers do not appear ready to start raising interest rates anytime soon, with officials expressing concerns about inflation and lingering problems in the labor market.

Minutes of the Fed's Jan. 27-28 meeting show that officials discussed the appropriate timing for beginning to raise rates. The Fed's benchmark interest rate has been at a record low near zero since December 2008.

The minutes indicate that officials were concerned about dropping the word "patient" to describe how long they were willing to wait, fearing that could cause an over-reaction in financial markets. Some officials noted that wage growth has remained weak even as the unemployment rate has declined. Others noted that inflation remains below the Fed's 2 percent target.