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Financial News: Fed Talks Faster Pace Of Rate Hikes, Minutes

Fed Talks Faster Pace Of Rate Hikes, Minutes Show

04/11/2018 - 14:39:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Federal Reserve discussed the need to slow down the economy, according to minutes of the March FOMC meeting released Wednesday.

Some member say that "monetary policy eventually would likely gradually move from an accommodative stance to being a neutral or restraining factor for economic activity," the minutes said.

At the March meeting, the Fed raised its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter percentage point to between 1.5% and 1.75%. Markets were expecting the move.

"All participants agreed that the outlook for the economy beyond the current quarter had strengthened in recent months," the minutes said.

The Fed also anticipated a rise in inflation that was confirmed over the past few days.

The 12-month rate of core consumer price, stripping out food and energy prices, advanced to 2.1% from 1.8%, government figures showed this morning.

That's above the Federal Reserve's 2% target, hinting the Fed may raise interest rates as many as four times in 2018. The Fed's most recent projection calls for only three rate hikes.

A factor that may keep the Fed from raising rates is the brewing trade war with China.

"Participants did not see the steel and aluminum tariffs, by themselves, as likely to have a significant effect on the national economic outlook, but a strong majority of participants viewed the prospect of retaliatory trade actions by other countries, as well as other issues and uncertainties associated with trade policies, as downside risks for the U.S. economy," the minutes read.

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