Analysis: Fed May Lift Rates With Confidence as Inflation Shows Signs of Life

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Wednesday’s data could embolden Fed officials who have said they might favor four rate increases this year

The Federal Reserve is likely to welcome new signs of firming inflation, which should bolster its resolve to gradually raise interest rates this year.

Low inflation last year puzzled Fed officials, but most attributed the softness to transitory factors and predicted price pressures would strengthen over time to a level consistent with a healthy, expanding economy.