Majority on Fed believe interest-rate policy will have to become restrictive

Majority on Fed believe interest-rate policy will have to become restrictive

By

Senior economics reporter

A majority of senior Federal Reserve officials believe that interest rates will have to continue to rise until policy becomes restrictive, according to minutes of the central bank’s September meeting released on Wednesday. A “few” officials thought policy would have to remain “modestly restrictive for a time” while an additional “number” thought policy would need to be restrictive “temporarily.” On the other hand, only a “couple” of officials indicated they would oppose a restrictive policy stance “in the absence of clear signs of an overheating economy and rising inflation.” According to the minutes, there were reports from contacts of a “firming” in inflationary pressures. Fed officials agreed there had been some signs of acceleration in labor costs. “Several” Fed officials said they now expected inflation to “modestly exceed” the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target “for a period of time.”

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