Federal Reserve officials are likely to once again raise their outlook for how high they’ll have to lift interest rates following the latest bout of bad inflation news.

Several Fed policymakers have said they want to see a decline in core inflation, a measure excluding volatile food and energy prices, before they slow the pace of rate increases.

But data released Thursday showed the numbers continue to go in the opposite direction, with the core consumer price index climbing 0.6% for a second month and increasing 6.6% from a year ago, the highest level since 1982.

That hardened bets officials will roll out another significant rate hike next month, and could signal they’ll need to bring rates higher than they previously expected before they can take a pause. It would be the latest upward revision to estimates for the peak of this tightening cycle as policymakers fight to control price pressures.

All three of their quarterly projections this year have shown a shift higher in the peak rate, starting in March when they began raising borrowing costs from nearly zero. The next forecast publication is mid-December, but officials will have plenty of opportunity between now and then to drive expectations further north.

“They’re going to have to go a lot higher,” said Steven Blitz, chief US economist for TS Lombard. “The trend that you see in terms of broad-based inflation is that it’s not decelerating.”

Kansas City Fed President Esther George, San Francisco’s Mary Daly and Fed Governor Lisa Cook have the chance to reflect on how the inflation report affects their outlooks when they speak at separate events Friday.

Policymakers last month projected rates rising to around 4.5% and staying there for some time to get inflation on track to return to the Fed’s 2% target. With their benchmark rate in a target range of 3% to 3.25%, that implied a downshift in the pace of rate increases in coming months after a string of 75 basis-point moves.

But with core price gains persisting, US central bankers could be signaling by early next year that they’re willing to get interest rates as high as 5.5% to get inflation down, Blitz said.

Fed officials point to the economic projections released after their Sept. 20-21 meeting as the best guide for where they see interest rates headed. But they are also careful to say that the forecasts are not a commitment and their views will evolve as they learn more about how the economy is behaving.

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