The U.S. Federal Reserve pressed ahead at its last policy-setting meeting with plans to begin raising interest rates later this year despite an apparently vigorous debate over how to communicate its intentions.
According to minutes of the Fed’s December meeting, released on Wednesday, U.S. central bankers reviewed a broad set of data showing that the economic recovery in the United States was holding its own in a world that was turning in the wrong direction – with recession threatening in Japan and Europe and a slowdown in major emerging markets.
Plummeting oil prices were pushing the United States further from the Fed’s inflation target, but consumers appeared poised to spend, jobs were being created, and business investment seemed steady.
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