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FOMC Minutes: Many expect a rate hike this year, but low inflation concerns linger

FXStreet (Córdoba) - Many FOMC members expect conditions to raise rate to be met later this year, although several members were concerned about downside risks to the outlook for real activity and inflation, the minutes from the Fed’s September meeting.

Many officials said that the improvement in labor market conditions met or would soon meet one of the Committee's criteria for beginning policy normalization.

“However, some participants judged that the downside risks to the outlook for economic growth and inflation had increased. In their view, although the time for policy normalization might be near, it would be appropriate to wait for information, including evidence of further improvement in the labor market, confirming that the outlook for economic growth had not deteriorated significantly and that inflation was still on a path to return to 2 percent over the medium term”, minutes said.

According to the minutes, some members were worried that a premature tightening might erode the credibility of the Fed's inflation objective if inflation stayed at a rate below 2 percent for a prolonged period.

All but one member concluded that, although the US economy had strengthened and labor underutilization had diminished, economic conditions did not warrant an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate at September’s meeting.

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