consistently downplayed those concerns, pointing out that the problem of the modern era has been weak prices — which could risk destabilizing outright price declines, and which saps the Fed’s ability to cut inflation-inclusive interest rates in times of trouble. If prices do take off, officials often say, they have the tools to deal with that.

Price gains are broadly expected to pop in the coming months as the data are measures against very weak readings from last year, but Mr. Powell and his colleagues draw a distinction between a temporary jump and a sustained move higher.

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