401k Limits (CC BY-SA 2.0)

For the first time since the global recession, Federal Reserve officials are divided over whether to raise interest rates. This occurs amid signs that U.S. economic growth has slowed.

The Guardian reports:

The minutes [of a meeting held in March] were drawn up before the latest official US jobs report recorded a sharp decrease in the rate of hiring. Last Friday, the Bureau of labor Statistics reported that the US economy added just 126,000 new jobs in March, barely half the number economists had expected and ending a 12-month streak of monthly gains of over 200,000 jobs.

The latest job figures may have added weight to those Fed officials seeking a delay of in interest-rate hikes.

“Several participants judged that the economic data and outlook were likely to warrant beginning normalization at the June meeting,” the minutes said. “However, others anticipated that the effects of energy price declines and the dollar’s appreciation would continue to weigh on inflation in the near term, suggesting that conditions likely would not be appropriate to begin raising rates until later in the year, and a couple of participants suggested that the economic outlook likely would not call for liftoff until 2016.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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