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Fed ‘can afford to be patient’ about future rate hikes

Federal Reserve officials acknowledged that the policy path ahead is “less clear” after approving an interest rate hike at their most recent meeting.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee gathering in December showed the rate hike came with reluctance from a few members who thought the lack of inflationary pressures argued against another increase.

The officials agreed that “some further gradual increases” in the benchmark funds rate would be appropriate. What that would translate to in practical terms, though, became less clear for a central bank that only a few months earlier was pointing to four hikes in 2019.

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