WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials were concerned at their meeting last month that consumers were starting to anticipate higher inflation, and they signaled that much higher interest rates could be needed to restrain it. The policymakers also acknowledged, in minutes from their meeting released Wednesday (July 6, 2022), that their rate hikes could weaken the economy. But they suggested that such steps were necessary to slow price increases back to the Fed’s 2% annual target. The Fed officials agreed that the central bank needed to raise its benchmark interest rate to “restrictive” levels that would slow the economy’s growth and “recognized that an even more restrictive stance could be appropriate” if inflation persisted.



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