Fed officials see ‘restrictive’ policy staying in place until inflation eases, minutes show

by | Oct 11, 2023 | Financial

Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, arrives to a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesFederal Reserve officials at their September meeting differed on whether any additional interest rate increases would be needed, though the balance indicated that one more hike would be likely, minutes released Wednesday showed.While there were conflicting opinions on the need for more policy tightening, there was unanimity on one point – that rates would need to stay elevated until policymakers are convinced inflation is heading back to 2%.”A majority of participants judged that one more increase in the target federal funds rate at a future meeting would likely be appropriate, while some judged it likely that no further increases would be warranted,” the summary of the Sept. 19-20 policy meeting stated.The document noted that all members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee agreed they could “proceed carefully” on future decisions, which would be based on incoming data rather than any preset path.Another point of complete agreement was the belief “that policy should remain restrictive for some time until the Committee is confident that inflation is moving down sustainably toward its objective.”The meeting culminated with the FOMC deciding against a rate hike.However, in the dot plot of individual members’ expectations, some two-thirds of the committee indicated that one more increase would be needed before the end of the year. The FOMC since March 2022 has raised its key interest rate 11 times, taking it to a targeted range of 5.25%-5.5%, the highest level in 22 years.Since the September meeting, …

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