Federal Reserve policymakers left open the prospect of a further interest rate rise this year even as they insisted they needed more evidence on the durability of the rebound before feeling confident enough to pull the trigger.
Minutes from their latest meeting last month revealed a hard-fought debate over when to move rates, with a couple of participants urging an immediate move, while others urged caution amid questions over how rapidly inflation would return to target.
Fed officials generally agreed that a strengthening of the jobs market and the relatively benign market reaction to the UK’s vote to leave the EU in June meant some of the uncertainties that had hung over the US economy had diminished.
But there was no consensus on the urgency of a second rate rise since last December, given the mixed prospects at home and abroad. Even as the Fed held rates unchanged during the meeting, two participants wanted to see an immediate move. Others said an increase would “soon be warranted”.
Several other participants were more cautious, according to the minutes.