//The Fed: Fed chatter confirms interest rates on hold until May at earliest

The Fed: Fed chatter confirms interest rates on hold until May at earliest

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A view of the Federal Reserve. The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates again for months.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting and recent speeches by officials confirm that the Fed will be on the sidelines for months, analysts said.

“The next rate hike is unlikely to occur in March, and instead, we expect it to take place in June,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays, in a note to clients.

Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said he expected the next Fed interest rate hike in May.

“It’s fair to say that Fed officials believe we are much closer to the end that the beginning of the tightening cycle,” he said.

Krishna Guha, chief at Evercore ISI, said the theme of Fed communication was “pause-like patience.”

Minutes of the Fed’s December meeting show officials believe some further rate increases would be necessary “but stressed that “a relatively limited amount of additional tightening likely would be appropriate.”

Read: Officials think they can be ‘patient’ on interest rates

Speeches by several Fed officials on Wednesday stressed the Fed could adopt a wait-and-see” approach to policy.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said Wednesday that the central bank needed to pause in light of the disconnect between financial markets and the incoming economic data. Economic forecasts are telling the Fed the economy is going to perform well, while financial markets are suggesting a potentially bigger slowdown, he said in a Bloomberg television interview.

“I think we need to get a little greater understanding of why they’re so different,” Rosengren said.

See: Fed’s Evans says interest rates likely moving higher while others urge caution

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and his top deputy Vice Chairman Richard Clarida will be speaking about the outlook for policy on Thursday.