New York Federal Reserve Building. Photo: Reuters/Keith Bedford

Federal Reserve officials have signaled that the next rate hike, long-expected to come in September, will have to wait until December, while a plan for balance-sheet reduction could come earlier than previously thought, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The shift would allow time to assess whether a recent inflation slowdown will fade before the next rate hike and gauge the market reaction to the balance-sheet plan. An earlier move on the plan would also avoid launching it at a time of transition to new leadership should Fed chair Janet Yellen not be nominated to a second term.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.