Federal Reserve minutes: Officials signal cautious approach to rates amid heightened uncertainty
Oct 11, 2023, 11:07 AM
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials regarded the U.S. economy’s outlook as particularly uncertain last month, according to minutes released Wednesday, and said they would “proceed carefully” in deciding whether to further raise their benchmark interest rate.
Such cautious comments are generally seen as evidence that the Fed isn’t inclined to raise rates in the near future.
Economic data from the past several months “generally suggested that inflation was slowing,” the minutes of the Sept. 19-20 meeting said. The policymakers added that further evidence of declining inflation was needed to be sure it would slow to the Fed’s 2% target.
Several of the 19 Fed policymakers said that with the Fed’s key rate “likely at or near its peak, the focus” of their policy decisions should “shift from how high to raise the policy rate to how long” to keep it at restrictive levels.
And the officials generally acknowledged that the risks to Fed’s policies were becoming more balanced between raising rates too high and hurting the economy and not raising them enough to curb inflation. For most of the past two years, the Fed had said the risks were heavily tilted toward not raising rates enough.