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Fed Officials See Smaller Rate Hikes Coming “Soon”

Federal Reserve officials earlier this month agreed that smaller interest rate increases should happen soon as they evaluate the impact policy is having on the economy, meeting minutes released Wednesday indicated.Reflecting statements that multiple officials have made over the past several weeks, the meeting summary pointed to smaller rate hikes coming. Markets widely expect the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee to step down to a 0.5 percentage point increase in December, following four straight 0.75 percentage point hikes.Though hinting that less severe moves were ahead, officials said they still see few signs of inflation abating. However, some committee members expressed concern about risks to the financial system should the Fed continue to press forward at the same aggressive pace.“A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate,” the minutes stated. “The uncertain lags and magnitudes associated with the effects of monetary policy actions on economic activity and inflation wer …

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