WASHINGTON Aug 20 The Federal Reserve has been
surprised by how quickly the U.S. labor market is healing but
doesn't want to bring forward a planned rate hike until the
recovery looks more convincing, according to minutes of its last
"Labor market conditions had moved noticeably closer to
those viewed as normal in the longer run," according to the
minutes of the central bank's July 29-30 meeting, which were
released on Wednesday.
Policymakers "generally agreed" that improvements in the
labor market over the last year had been "greater than
expected," according to the minutes.
The Fed had said in its policy statement following the
meetings that there was "significant" slack in the labor market,
but the minutes showed many members of the Fed's policy-setting
committee thought this characterization "might have to change
They also showed officials had largely agreed on many
elements of a framework for raising interest rates, with almost
all policymakers agreeing it would be appropriate to retain the
overnight federal funds rate as their key target.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Paul Simao)