A slight uptick in job gains for the second quarter did not persuade members of the Federal Open Market Committee to raise the federal funds rate.
In a statement released Wednesday at the end of a two-day meeting in Washington, committee members said a hike is more likely to happen when the committee “has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective.” Even then, “economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping” rates low, the statement said.
At a news conference following the meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen said while there was some risk in waiting too long to raise rates, acting too early “could risk derailing a recovery that we’ve all worked hard to achieve.”
“Clearly, most participants are anticipating that a rate increase this year will be appropriate,” Ms. Yellen said.
Ms. Yellen added that “sometimes too much attention is paid” to when the committee will make the first rate hike. “What should matter is the entire trajectory,” she said.