Fed officials expect to keep interest rates elevated for 'some time,' minutes show

Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed their commitment to combating inflation at their December meeting and indicated that interest rates could remain elevated for "some time" until there is clear evidence that consumer prices are falling.

Minutes from the U.S. central bank's Dec. 13-14 meeting released on Wednesday showed that policymakers worried that investors and financial markets could misinterpret their decision to raise interest rates more slowly as a sign they were ending their campaign to bring prices under control. Officials stressed that the smaller rate hike – 50 basis points, compared to the previous fourth 75-basis point-increases – "was not an indication of any weakening" and warned of continued risks on the inflation front. 

Although inflation has shown early signs of cooling off, it remains stubbornly high: The consumer price index climbed by 7.1% in November from the previous year, down from a high of 9.1% recorded in June but about three times the pre-pandemic average. 

Jerome Powell by Federalreserve is licensed under flickr Public Domain