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Fed Inflation Debate Finds Some Officials on Rate-Hike Fence
Thursday, 12 October 2017 01:19 WIB | FISCAL & MONETARY |Federal ReserveFOMCThe Fed

Federal Reserve officials held a detailed debate last month over whether forces holding inflation down were persistent or temporary, with several policy makers looking for stronger evidence of price gains before supporting a third interest-rate hike this year.

œMany participants expressed concern that the low inflation readings this year might reflect not only transitory factors, but also the influence of developments that could prove more persistent, according to minutes of the Sept. 19-20 meeting, released Wednesday in Washington.

Several policy makers said their decision on whether to raise rates this year œwould depend importantly on whether the economic data in coming months increased their confidence on inflation rising toward their 2 percent target.

At the meeting, the U.S. central bank left the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged while projecting another increase before the end of the year and announcing an October start for a gradual unwind of its $4.5 trillionbalance sheet. The minutes suggest that the forecast for another rate increase in 2017 is conditioned on economic data showing that the inflation target is within reach over the next couple of years.

œIt was noted that some patience in removing policy accommodation while assessing trends in inflation was warranted, the minutes said.

Before the release of the minutes, investors saw about a 78 percent probabilityof one more rate increase by the end of the year, according to pricing in fed funds futures markets. Fed officials have meetings scheduled on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and Dec. 12- 13.

Source: Bloomberg

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