Fed policymakers downplay divisions on U.S. rate hike

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BY JASON LANGE

Federal Reserve policymakers are not as divided as it may appear and are generally operating under the same framework for determining when to raise interest rates, one Fed official said on Thursday, while another said the differences of opinion reflect the countervailing economic data.

Many Fed watchers are exasperated by the mixed messages from the U.S. central bank in recent weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other officials have said they expect a rate hike will be needed by the end of this year, but two Fed governors this week urged caution.

New York Fed President William Dudley, who repeated his view that a rate hike was likely by year’s end, acknowledged the central bank has not communicated well, but he downplayed the differences that existed among officials.

“At the end of the day people are exaggerating” the divisions, Dudley said in response to a question after a panel presentation in Washington on Thursday. “We are all pretty much on the same page.”

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