U.S. Federal Reserve Foresees Prolonged High Interest Rates in Battle Against Inflation: Meeting Minutes Reveal

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In the latest minutes released by the US Federal Reserve, it has been revealed that all members of the powerful rate-setting committee reached a unanimous decision earlier this month to maintain high-interest rates "for some time." This strategic move is aimed at curbing inflation and steering the economy toward the Federal Reserve's long-term target of two percent.

On November 1, the Federal Reserve declared its decision to uphold interest rates at a 22-year high for the second consecutive meeting, emphasizing its commitment to bringing inflation under control without jeopardizing the robust economic conditions. The implications of this decision have heightened market expectations of a sustained pause in interest rate hikes, though Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has clarified that the central bank remains open to further rate adjustments if necessary.

According to the recently disclosed minutes, "All participants judged that it would be appropriate for policy to remain at a restrictive stance for some time until inflation is clearly moving down sustainably towards its two percent target." This unanimous stance underscores the Federal Reserve's dedication to addressing inflationary pressures and maintaining economic stability.

Despite the Federal Reserve's assertive tightening of monetary policy since March of the previous year, the US economy has demonstrated resilience, with strong growth and a buoyant labor market. However, recent indicators suggest a potential slowing in economic momentum.

The positive trend in recent economic data has heightened the possibility of achieving a "soft landing," wherein the Federal Reserve successfully combats inflation without pushing the United States into a recession. Economic forecasts presented by Fed staff during the October 31 and November 1 rate-setting meeting indicated an anticipated slowdown in fourth-quarter GDP growth compared to the third quarter. Nevertheless, the overall outlook remains optimistic, with average GDP growth over the second half of the year projected to exceed the pace of the first half.

Looking back to September, the Federal Reserve's earlier projection for the US economy forecasted a growth rate of 2.1 percent for the current year and a slightly moderated 1.5 percent in 2024. The recent minutes affirm the central bank's commitment to a measured and strategic approach to monetary policy, signaling a prolonged period of high-interest rates as a means to navigate the challenges posed by inflation while sustaining economic growth.

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