Minutes from the March 19-20 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting released today showed officials see little reason to continue raising rates due to greater risks to the U.S. economy from the global growth slowdown and muted inflation readings that took more officials by surprise. Fed officials said the labor market remains strong but that economic growth had slowed after a strong showing in the fourth quarter.
“A majority of participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving the target range unchanged for the remainder of the year,” according to the minutes.
Also of note today, the Consumer Price Index climbed 0.4% in March, its biggest increase since January 2018 and a bit stronger than anticipated. Increases in food costs, gasoline and rent drove CPI higher last month. The core CPI, which excludes energy and food prices, climbed just 0.1% from February and was up 2% from year-ago, according to the Labor Department Report. The core CPI, which the Fed watches more closely, came in lighter than anticipated.