WASHINGTON (AFP) – Federal Reserve officials stressed “patience” in waiting to raise interest rates, worrying about weaker foreign economic growth and the stronger dollar, minutes of their September policy meeting showed Wednesday.
Participants at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting discussed their concerns about the stronger dollar amid stuttering growth in the eurozone, slowdowns in China and Japan and elevated geopolitical risks.
The greenback in particular had firmed against the euro, the yen and the British pound.
“Some participants expressed concern that the persistent shortfall of economic growth and inflation in the euro area could lead to a further appreciation of the dollar and have adverse effects on the US external sector,” the minutes said.
“Several” of them added “that slower economic growth in China or Japan or unanticipated events in the Middle East or Ukraine might pose a similar risk.”
There was no mention of the overseas growth or dollar concerns in the FOMC’s policy statement on September 17, in which the central bank left its zero interest rate unchanged since late 2008 and took another step toward winding up its massive asset-purchase programme known as quantitative easing.