The Federal Reserve is either lucky or clever.

By signaling that it won’t touch interest rates again until December, it’s bought itself time to have a longer — and much needed — conversation about inflation. Good. There are very legitimate doubts that traditional models explain what’s happening or, rather, what’s not happening.

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting show a growing debate about inflation and why it’s retreating, instead of advancing, in the face of 4.3 percent unemployment. The central bank is puzzled that prices have been soft for several months.

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