Fed Raised Rates Even as Inflation Debate Continued: Minutes

Federal Reserve policymakers decided to raise interest rates last month after almost all of them gained confidence inflation was poised to rise, but some voiced worries inflation could get stuck at dangerously low levels.

“Nearly all participants were now reasonably confident inflation would move back to 2 percent over the medium term,” the minutes of the Fed’s Dec. 15-16 meeting released on Wednesday said.

But “some members said that their decision to raise the target range was a close call, particularly given the uncertainty about inflation dynamics.”

The minutes cast light on the fissures that remain in the U.S. central bank despite a unanimous decision from policymakers last month to raise rates by a quarter point from near zero, the first increase in a decade.

The debate over the outlook for inflation will be central to decisions on how quickly to raise rates over the next year.

Reuters

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Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.