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Some Fed Members Say Rates Hike Needed Soon

Fed Chair Janet Yellen Testifies Before The House Financial Services CommitteeFed Chair Janet Yellen Testifies Before The House Financial Services Committee
Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some voting Federal Reserve policymakers expect that a U.S. interest rate increase will be needed soon, although there is general agreement that more data is needed before such a move, according to the minutes from the Fed’s July policy meeting.

“Some … members anticipated that economic conditions would soon warrant taking another step in removing policy accommodation,” the Fed said in the minutes, which were released on Wednesday.

The minutes showed that members of the U.S. central bank’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee were generally upbeat about the U.S. economic outlook and labor market, but several said a slowdown in the future pace of hiring would argue against a near-term hike.

Ten policymakers currently are members of the FOMC, and seven other officials from regional Fed banks also participated in the July 26-27 meeting but did not have a vote on policy.

Of the broader group of policymakers, several expressed concern that low interest rates could hurt financial stability.