Most senior Federal Reserve officials wanted to wait until an “upcoming” meeting to unveil a long-awaited selloff of the central bank’s $4.5 trillion in bond holdings, hinting at an announcement in September, according to minutes of the Fed’s meeting in July. The Fed also engaged in a deep debate over surprisingly low inflation readings, with some saying the bank could ‘afford to be patient” before raising interest rates again. The Fed’s staff in July slightly reduced its 2017 forecast for inflation, as many senior officials saw a greater likelihood that “inflation might remain below 2% for longer than they currently expected.”
The Fed had been on track to raise rates one more time this year, but now a majority of Wall Street investors believe the bank will hold off until early 2018. A few Fed officials also suggested that any economic stimulus in Washington would be smaller and take longer to enact than previously expected.