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The Fed: The Fed is bashful about raising interest rates because of a quarter-century of low inflation

The leaders of the Federal Reserve are in no hurry to raise interest rates amid a surprising absence of inflationary pressures.

News flash: Inflation in the U.S. has been very low — unusually low — for a long, long time.

How long? Try a quarter of a century. That’s the last time inflation consistently ran above 3% a year.

Stubbornly low inflation is the chief reason the Federal Reserve in January abruptly junked plans to keep raising a key interest rate that influences the cost of borrowing for businesses and consumers. And it’s why Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and other senior bank officials are reexamining old assumptions about how inflation behaves after years of trying and failing to raise prices above what it considers a danger zone for the economy.

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