- In the last meeting chaired by Ben Bernanke, a few on the FOMC saw a chance of rate hikes "relatively soon." As for forward guidance in which the Fed promised to hold Fed Funds near 0% after the 6.5% unemployment rate threshold was crossed - it's pretty much done with. “Participants agreed that, with the unemployment rate approaching 6.5 percent, it would soon be appropriate for the Committee to change its forward guidance."
- As for how that guidance might be replaced, there looks to be some confusion, with some wanting a lower threshold, and others not so interested in a hard number.
- The minutes show little concern about the string of soft economic data to start the year (meeting was held Jan. 28-29). "Participants cited a number of factors that were likely to continue to underpin gains in household spending, including rising house prices, growing confidence in the sustainability of the economic expansion, increasing payrolls."