The U.S. data-point highlight of the week was Wednesday afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes from the last meeting, held on May 1-2. At that meeting the Fed left interest rates unchanged, as expected.
Today's minutes showed FOMC members continue to expect to gradually raise interest rates, and likely to move again in June. The U.S. economy is likely to grow a little faster in the second quarter than in the first, members believed.
FOMC members said they are cognizant about the uptick in inflationary price pressures, but not overly concerned about it. They said wage-inflation pressures remain muted. An overall U.S. price inflation pace running at about 2.0% on an annual basis is right about where the Fed would like it to be.
However, FOMC members were a bit concerned about rising oil prices contributing to an unwanted additional uptick in inflation. Some FOMC members said an annual U.S. inflation rate slightly above 2.0% would not be problematic.
The marketplace deemed the FOMC minutes as just slightly dovish, but markets did not show a big reaction to this afternoon's report.