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Fed Officials Fretted That Markets Would Misread Rate Slowdown


Federal Reserve officials worried that inflation could remain uncomfortably fast, minutes from their December meeting showed, and some policymakers fretted that financial markets might incorrectly interpret their decision to raise interest rates more slowly as a sign that they were giving up the fight against America’s rapid price gains.Inflation is beginning to slow down but remains abnormally quick: The Personal Consumption Expenditures price index climbed by 5.5 percent over the year through November, down from a 7 percent peak in June but still nearly triple the Fed’s 2 percent inflation goal. Fed officials still saw inflation as unacceptably high at their meeting last month — and worried that rapid price gains might have staying power.“The risks to the inflation outlook remained tilted to the upside,” Fed officials warned during their December policy meeting, minutes released on Wednesday showed. “Participants cited the possibility that price pressures could prove to be more persistent than anticipated, due to, for example, the labor market staying tight for longer than a …

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