The Fed signals rate hikes won't come until 2015, but that they could be at a quicker pace when they do kick in. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Rate hikes will likely be at a quicker pace but still won't start until 2015: After meeting for two days, the Federal Reserve indicated the first increase from near-zero rates will not come until sometime next year- keeping the key phrase "considerable time" in their statement. Fed Chair Janet Yellen was asked for clarification during the press conference that followed. SOUNDBITE: JANET YELLEN, CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I want to emphasize that there is no mechanical interpretation of what the term considerable time means. And as I have said repeatedly, the decisions that the committee makes about what is the appropriate time to begin to raise its target for the Federal Funds rate will be data dependent." The Fed lowered their economic growth forecast, saying a significant amount of slack remains in the U.S. labor market, even though it also said on balance, labor market conditions improved. As expected it reduced its bond buying by another $10 billion. The program is on track to end next month. But two committee members dissented- arguing the guidance on rates could tie the central banks hands if it had to move quickly to tighten policy. Reuters Columnist James Saft: SOUNDBITE: JAMES SAFT, REUTERS COLUMNIST (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's not surprising that those guys hold those views but it is interesting that they are starting to be open about them. One thing we could see next year would be even more dissent within the ranks if inflation doesn't pick up, but some people really want to get rates normalized just so they can operate in normal monetary policy. I don't think that is going to be possible though." The dollar hit its highest level against the Yen since September of 2008 after the statement, and Treasury bond yields rose, as traders priced in higher rates in the future. But stocks cheered the pledge to keep rates near zero for a considerable time, moving higher in Wednesday's trading. Decision Economics Cary Leahey: SOUNDBITE: CARY LEAHEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think what they could have done today was probably tinker with the language, and say that the economy is moving a little better. The problem with that, of course, is if they had said the economy feels better, why did you lower your forecast? So I think they were in kind of a lose-lose situation that they were afraid that any tinkering with the statement that might have appeared more hawkish might have sent the stock market down today." The next Fed meeting begins October 28th.