Several top Federal Reserve officials wanted last month to re-write their guidance that short-term interest rates were likely to stay low for a "considerable time," but held off in part because of concern that the market would view it as a fundamental shift in policy, according to minutes of the Sept. 16-17 meeting released Wednesday. In addition to concern over the market reaction, some officials favored keeping the guidance because it suggested it would be "prudent" for the Fed to be patient. "In their view, the costs of downside shocks to the economy would be larger than those of upside shocks" because it would be easier for the Fed to hike rates if doing so became necessary rather than to ease policy in a renewed downturn, according to the minutes. A few Fed officials wanted to remove the statement language that there was "significant" underutilization in labor market conditions. There was general agreement that the language would have to be changed if the labor market continued to improve.
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