WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve officials in their June discussions appeared to move closer to their first interest rate hike in nearly a decade but were concerned that a significant slowdown in China could pose risks to the U.S. economy.
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Minutes of their July 28-29 discussions show that officials believed they were close to achieving their goals on employment. But they were split on whether inflation had risen enough to justify an increase.
On China, the minutes showed Fed officials believed that a big drop in the Chinese stock market would have only limited implications for growth prospects in China. However, this discussion occurred before a decision by Chinese officials to devalue their currency roiled global financial markets.