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Fed minutes: Gradual rate hikes on track

Last Updated May 23, 2018 at 11:41 am PDT

FILE- In this April 6, 2018, file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell listens as he tours mHUB during a visit to Chicago. The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its most recent policymakers' meeting on Wednesday, May 23. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve officials earlier this month discussed a number of risks facing the economy, from rising wage pressures to possible harm from administration trade policies. But in the end, officials concluded that the Fed should be on track to keep hiking interest rates gradually.

The minutes of the Fed’s May 1-2 meeting show that officials were generally upbeat about the prospects for the economy. Unemployment was expected to fall further, while inflation was expected to rise to the Fed’s 2 per cent target.

But the minutes show that officials discussed “a number of risks and uncertainties,” including possible adverse reactions to the administration’s get-tough trade policies.

The Fed left its key policy rate unchanged at the May meeting although many economists are looking for a June rate hike.