International News

WASHINGTON: US central bankers remain committed to raising interest rates further to quell rising prices, but agreed it would be appropriate to slow the pace of the hikes “at some point,” the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. The central bank has raised the benchmark borrowing rate four times this year, including two massive three-quarter-point increases in June and July as it tries to cool demand to lower prices that have surged at the fastest pace in more than 40 years. The aggressive moves took on more urgency after US annual inflation spiked to 9.1 percent in June. In the minutes of the July policy meeting, which produced a second massive rate increase of 75 basis points, Fed officials said it will take some time to bring “unacceptably high” inflation back down near the two percent goal. Policymakers are trying to tread a narrow path and avoid pushing the world’s largest economy into recession, and many officials at the meeting cautioned that there is a “risk” the Fed could go too far.