Fed Drops ‘Patient’ in Describing Timing for First Rate Hike

(AP) -

The Federal Reserve is signaling that it’s edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows in light of a strengthening job market. The Fed no longer says it will be “patient” in starting to raise its benchmark rate.

The central bank did say a rate increase at its next meeting in April was unlikely. Most analysts believe that dropping the word “patient” makes a rate increase in June likely. The Fed says it will raise rates when it is “reasonably confident” that inflation is moving toward its 2 percent goal.

The Fed has kept its key short-term rate near zero since late 2008, in an attempt to bolster the economy after a devastating financial crisis and recession. A Fed rate hike would push up consumer and business rates.