As expected, the minutes from the last FOMC meetings presented no surprises. Today, the Fed released the minutes from the most recent policy meetings from last January. There really has been no chatter regarding any rate increase in the current environment but some have pointed to sometime thisFOMC Minutes Released summer, perhaps after the June meetings that such a move will occur.

The minutes show that every board member declined to raise rates yet there were discussions about the timing of the next rate increase. There will be one more round of meetings until the June sessions.

For now, the Fed’s inflation target is well below the 2.00 percent target rate and for the foreseeable future, it might remain in its current window hovering around 1.00 percent. With the release of the Producer Price Index today, that notion was confirmed. The Bureau of Labor statistics reported the PPI number came in much lower than expected, down -0.8% as analysts predicted a fall of -0.4%, largely due to the rapid decline in oil prices. Core PPI, the number excluding food and energy costs, dropped by -0.1% as well. Even taking out the drop in crude, prices still fell at the wholesale level. That can indicate depressed prices for retail goods for the next couple of months, regardless of any food or energy component.

The FOMC minutes continued to push the line they’re going to be “patient” as it relates to any rate moves, mimicking the remarks made at the previous FOMC meetings. Those who are paid to parse “Fed Speak” say the term “patient” still being used indicates a steady as she goes approach. However, at the next round, if the same term is missing from the release of the minutes, it could be a harbinger of a Fed tightening for the first time since a 0.25% bump in June of 2006.