Federal Reserve officials last month struggled to come to grips with two big uncertainties facing the U.S. economy — whether it would be safe to let inflation rise faster for a while and how to assess the impact of President Donald Trump's ambitious economic stimulus plans.
Minutes of the Fed's discussion at their March meeting showed near-unanimous support for the quarter-point increase in its key policy rate, the second rate hike in three months. But there was less agreement over the issues of inflation and Trump's economic plans.
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The group decided to keep signaling that future rate hikes would be gradual but be prepared to respond quickly to changes in the economic outlook. Many analysts believe the Fed will hold rates steady at the May meeting.