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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

FOMC Minutes: "Recent increases in inflation had been relatively broad based"

by Calculated Risk on 5/22/2024 02:00:00 PM

From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, April 30–May 1, 2024. Excerpt:

Participants observed that while inflation had eased over the past year, in recent months there had been a lack of further progress toward the Committee's 2 percent objective. The recent monthly data had showed significant increases in components of both goods and services price inflation. In particular, inflation for core services excluding housing had moved up in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of last year, and prices of core goods posted their first three-month increase in several months. In addition, housing services inflation had slowed less than had been anticipated based on the smaller increases in measures of market rents over the past year. A few participants remarked that unusually large seasonal patterns could have contributed to January's large increase in PCE inflation, and several participants noted that some components that typically display volatile price changes had boosted recent readings. However, some participants emphasized that the recent increases in inflation had been relatively broad based and therefore should not be overly discounted.

Participants generally commented that they remained highly attentive to inflation risks. They also remained concerned that elevated inflation continued to harm the purchasing power of households, especially those least able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation.

Participants noted that they continued to expect that inflation would return to 2 percent over the medium term. However, recent data had not increased their confidence in progress toward 2 percent and, accordingly, had suggested that the disinflation process would likely take longer than previously thought.
emphasis added