Fed policymakers cautiously optimistic on U.S. economy despite new risks, minutes show

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Federal Reserve policymakers were cautiously optimistic about their ability to hold interest rates steady this year, minutes of the central bank’s last policy meeting showed, even as they acknowledged new risks caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The readout on Wednesday of the policy discussion, at which policymakers unanimously voted to keep interest rates unchanged in a target range of between 1.50% and 1.75%, also showed Fed officials were skeptical about any big rethink of the central bank’s inflation target. “Participants generally saw the distribution of risks to the outlook for economic activity as somewhat more favorable than at the previous meeting,” the Fed said in the minutes of the Jan. 28-29 meeting.

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