Fed says it is a 'more restrictive' policy if inflation does not come down, minutes stated

Fed says it is a 'more restrictive' policy if inflation does not come down, minutes stated

July 8, 2022: -In June, Federal Reserve officials emphasized the need to fight inflation even if it means slowing an economy that appears on the brink of a recession, the meeting minutes said.

Members said that the July meeting also would notice one more basis point move on top of a 75 basis point growth agreed in June. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

“In discussing potential policy actions at the future meetings, participants continued to anticipate that the current growth in the target range for the fund’s rate would be good to achieve the Committee’s objectives,” the minutes said.

“Participants are judging that an increase of 50 or 75 basis points would likely be appropriate at the meeting.”

In June, Central bankers said that raising benchmark borrowing rates by three-quarters of a percentage point was necessary to control cost-of-living increases that have run at their top levels since 1981. They said they would continue to do so until inflation gets close to the 2% long-run goal.

“Participants ruled that the economic outlook warranted moving to a restrictive stance of policy, recognizing the possibility that an elevated pressure to persist,” the document added.

They acknowledged that policy tightening would come with a price.

“Participants are recognizing that policy firming could slow the pace of economic growth for a time, but they experienced the return of inflation to 2 percent as critical to achieving maximum employment on a sustained basis,” the meeting summary added.

The move to increase rates by 75 basis points after an unusual sequence in which policymakers seemed to have a last-minute change of heart after saying for weeks that a 50 basis point move was almost inevitable.

The following data shows consumer prices running at an 8.6% 12-month rate, and inflation expectations increased; the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee chose the additional stringent path.

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