The Federal Reserve's policymakers seem to be reluctant to consider any more efforts to inject a monetary stimulus into the U.S. economy — but that doesn't mean you should expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.
Update at 2:20 p.m. ET: Beige Book Is Out. The Federal Reserve Board has released its collection of regional U.S. economic data, noting that " the economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace from mid-February through late March." The report's name, you'll recall, comes from the color of its cover.
For NPR's Newscast desk, Steve Beckner of Market News International filed this report:
"Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member of the Fed's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, says he's 'reticent' about doing another round of bond buying to cut long-term interest rates."
"Talking to reporters at a conference in Stone Mountain, Ga., he says such 'quantitative easing' should only be done if the economy weakens and unemployment rises — something he does not expect. But, unlike a few of his colleagues, Lockhart says he's 'comfortable' with the FOMC's stated aim of keeping short-term rates near zero 'at least through late 2014.'"
Many of the bank presidents have been attending an annual financial markets conference in Atlanta. The Fed is set to release its "beige book" report on America's economic environment at 2 p.m. ET today.
Reuters has compiled recent quotes from the Fed Bank leaders, in which they weigh in on inflation, interest rates and potential threats to the U.S. economy.
And an additional perspective comes from Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren, who warned that money market funds should be regulated more tightly, calling them a "transmission channel" for financial turmoil originating in Europe.