WASHINGTON, January 4. /TASS/. Many management members of the US Federal Reserve System expect the rate increase in 2018, according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released on Wednesday.
"Most participants reiterated their support for continuing a gradual approach to raising the target range, noting that this approach helped to balance risks to the outlook for economic activity and inflation," the document says. The Fed raised the base interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25-1.5% in December 2017. Economists underline the need of increasing the inflation level and the tax and budget stimulation among main reasons for the rate increase.
The Fed plans to increase the base interest rate thrice in 2017. At the same time, certain management members are confident that such frequent rate increase will be a too radical step and can prevent inflation growth, while the others believe that even three times will not be enough.
"The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data," the document says.
Experts actually exclude the rate increase at the next FOMC meeting on January 30-31 but believe that it will take place in March.