WASHINGTON, May 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rate "soon," if economic outlook was in line with expectation of Fed officials, the minutes for the central bank's latest policy meeting showed on Wednesday.
"Most participants judged that if incoming information broadly confirmed their current economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate for the (Federal Open Market) Committee to take another step in removing policy accommodation," said the minutes for the Fed's policy meeting on May 1 and 2.
Recent inflation development gave Fed officials confidence that the inflation will move up to its 2 percent target.
The price index for personal consumption expenditure (PCE), an inflation gauge preferred by the Fed, rose 2 percent from a year ago in March, the biggest increase since February 2017 and meeting the Fed's 2-percent inflation target.
Excluding the volatile food and energy prices, the core PCE price index rose 1.9 percent in March, also the largest increase since February 2017.
"Most participants viewed the recent firming in inflation as providing some reassurance that inflation was on a trajectory to achieve the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective on a sustained basis," said the minutes.
Some officials noted that inflation was likely to modestly overshoot the 2-percent target for a time, whole several suggested the underlying trend in inflation had changed little.
During the meeting, Fed officials discussed risks to the U.S. economic outlook, which include possibility of overheating, uncertain impacts from fiscal stimulus, and the uncertainty of U.S. trade policies.
"A number of participants viewed the range of possible outcomes for economic activity and inflation to be particularly wide, depending on what actions were taken by the United States and how U.S trading partners responded," said the minutes.
Some officials noted that the uncertainty surrounding trade issues could damp business sentiment and spending, according to the minutes.
In its May meeting, the Fed kept the interest rates unchanged, in line with market expectation, while expressing confidence that inflation is near its 2-percent target.
With the confidence in inflation, market investors now widely expected that the Fed would raise interest rate in its next meeting which was scheduled on June 12 and 13.