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Speaking to the Economic Club of NY, the chairman also suggested that interest rates appear to be just below the level the Fed calls "neutral", where they are thought to neither stimulate growth nor impede it.

Powell has been criticized by Trump for interest rate increases and other Fed policies.

The Fed chairman also said Wednesday that while some corporate debt loads have reached riskier levels, "we do not see unsafe excesses in the stock market".

Powell remains upbeat on the economy, forecasting continued solid growth, low unemployment and inflation near the Fed's 2 percent target.

The Fed has settled into a quarterly rate-hike cycle and is still expected to raise rates again next month, in what would be the fourth hike this year.

But many economists warn that by attacking the Fed for raising rates, Trump is actually putting pressure on the central bank to raise rates to demonstrate its independence from political considerations.

President Donald Trump, who's repeatedly blasted Powell for what he called unnecessarily tightening and risking economic growth, condemned the Fed chief in a Washington Post interview Tuesday saying, "I'm not even a little bit happy with my selection" of Powell.

The minutes also revealed that Fed officials talked about modifying language in their policy statement, which now states that it expects "further gradual increases" in interest rates.

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Yields on two-year Treasury, which reflect traders' expectations of interest rate hikes, fell while longer-dated federal fund futures ticked higher, suggesting diminished expectations for interest-rate hikes after December 2018. The current system relies on the Fed paying interest on some reserves to set the federal funds rate.

President Trump argued that the Fed's policies were damaging the economy and pointed to the recent stock market correction.

Speaking at the Economic Club of NY on November 28, Jerome Powell outlined the Fed's decision to slow or pause interest rate movements in 2019 and would continue to monitor the nation's financial stability.

"We know that things often turn out to be quite different from even the most careful forecasts", Powell said at an Economic Club of NY luncheon on Wednesday.

"As always, our decisions on monetary policy will be created to keep the economy on track in light of the changing outlook for jobs and inflation", Powell said. Those increases have raised its benchmark rate to a still-historically-low range of 2 to 2.25%. Investors might, for example, question whether the Fed would feel free to keep raising rates, if it felt it necessary to control inflation. Powell, who took over as Fed chairman in February, has said he wants to provide the public with "plain English" descriptions of what the central bank is up to.

The minutes showed a couple of participants felt the benchmark fed funds rate "might now be near its neutral level and that further increases in the federal funds rate could unduly slow the expansion of economic activity".

In other words, the Fed is going to be doing fewer rate hikes in the coming years than they've done over the last few, but Powell's comments do not necessarily indicate the overall path for policy will be revised down. "There is a great deal to like about this outlook", he said. But Shayne and I believe that on this dovish statement 3 rate increases for next year look less certain.


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