Fed Officials Split in July Over Inflation Worries

Federal Reserve policymakers were worried last month about inflation, but for two opposing reasons.

One group of Federal Reserve policymakers felt inflation was falling too low and argued for caution in raising interest rates. Others expressed concerns that delaying further rate hikes could push inflation higher into dangerous territory.

The policy debate was revealed in minutes released Wednesday of the Fed’s July 25-26 meeting. Officials eventually made a unanimous decision to keep its key policy rate unchanged.

The minutes also showed that several officials pushed for a July announcement that the Fed was ready to start reducing its massive bond holdings, a move that would likely mean slightly higher rates on mortgages and some other loans. Policymakers decided in the end to signal that it would come “relatively soon.”

Financial markets expect that announcement at next month’s meeting, but analysts do not expect the Fed’s next rate hike to come

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