FXStreet (Delhi) – Research Team at Goldman Sachs, notes that the minutes from the October 27-28 FOMC meeting indicated that most FOMC participants thought that the conditions for liftoff “could well be met by the time of the next meeting.” Key Quotes “The minutes also noted staff estimates that the short-run equilibrium real interest rate is currently around zero and the long-run equilibrium rate would likely remain lower than was the case in previous decades. Main Points: 1. Minutes from the October 27-28 FOMC meeting indicated that most Fed officials thought that the conditions for liftoff “could well be met by the time of the next meeting.” However, in part due to worries about “weaker-than-expected readings on measures of labor market conditions,” FOMC members agreed to wait for further information before raising policy rates. We expect that the stronger-than-expected October employment report will have assuaged many of these concerns, and that the committee now has a strong baseline to raise rates next month. 2. The minutes noted that “a number of participants” pointed to various other reasons for avoiding a further delay in raising the funds rate. The reasons included signaling confidence in the economic outlook, reducing uncertainty in financial markets, reducing the risk of a buildup of financial imbalances caused by low interest rates, and avoiding a loss of credibility. 3. The minutes included a discussion of staff presentations on the concept of “equilibrium” real interest rates (also known as the neutral/natural rate or r*). Consistent with earlier public comments from Fed officials, including Chair Yellen, the staff presentations estimated that the short-run equilibrium real rate was currently around zero. FOMC participants expected the short-run equilibrium real rate to rise over time, “but probably only gradually.” The minutes also suggested that participants’ views on longer-run equilibrium rates may be evolving: “it was noted that the longer-run downward trend in real interest rates suggested that short-run r* would likely remain below levels that were normal during previous business cycle expansions, and that the longer-run normal level to which the nominal federal funds rate might be expected to converge in the absence of further shocks to the economy … would likely be lower than was the case in previous decades.” The staff attributed the lower long-run equilibrium rate to a slower rate of potential growth, a consequence of slower population growth and weak productivity growth. These comments might foreshadow another reduction in the median “longer-run” funds rate projection in the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) in December. 4. Participants also noted that the lower long-run equilibrium rate implies that the near-zero effective lower bound could become binding more frequently. As a result, “several” participants indicated that it would be “prudent” to consider “options for providing additional monetary policy accommodation” should the economic recovery falter. 5. The remainder of the minutes offered few new clues on the outlook for policy. There were mixed views on the risks to inflation, with some participants noting that alternative measures of underlying inflation were above the core PCE measure. However, “several participants” cited downside risks to inflation, in part due to low breakeven inflation in the TIPS market. Views on the outlook for real activity appeared broadly unchanged.” For more information, read our latest forex news.