Fed wants to study Brexit effects before rate hike

by Ryan Smith07 Jul 2016
Before raising interest rates, policymakers at the Federal Reserve want a better idea of the effect of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, according to the minutes of the Fed’s recent policy meeting, released Wednesday.

The minutes of the Fed’s June 14-15 meeting showed unease among policymakers about the then-upcoming Brexit vote, according to a Reuters report.

“Members generally agreed that, before assessing whether another step in removing monetary accommodation was warranted, it was prudent to wait for additional data on the consequences of the U.k. vote,” the minutes stated.

That vote took place on June 23, with the UK voting to leave the EU. The vote had immediate consequences, with the pound plummeting to a 31-year low and investors rushing to the safety of government bonds.

Since then, worries among Fed policymakers have only gotten worse, Reuters reported. On Wednesday, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo argued that the agency should put any planned rate hikes on hold until inflation had risen significantly higher. New York Fed President William Dudley, meanwhile, said this week that the agency should be patient with rate increases, but it was too soon to know what fallout would result from a British exit of the EU.


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