Details of the US Federal Reserve's lastest policy meeting released Tuesday showed the bank grappling with a tepid recovery, but both deeply skeptical about declaring victory and cautious about more stimulus.
Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's mid-March meeting offered a snapshot of policymakers weighing mixed news on employment, housing, the financial markets and inflation -- described meekly as "positive, on balance."
"Meeting participants agreed that the information received since the Committee's previous meeting, while mixed, had been positive, on balance, and suggested that the economy had been expanding moderately," the minutes showed.
Against this backdrop there was limited mention of further measures to juice the world's largest economy, a course that is unlike to placate those screaming for more action, or those calling for it to be taken off the table.
"A couple of members indicated that the initiation of additional stimulus could become necessary if the economy lost momentum or if inflation seemed likely to remain below its mandate-consistent rate of two percent over the medium run," the March 13 minutes noted.
For every positive development seen over the past few months, there seemed to be members of the Fed committee warning of statistical anomalies or mitigating factors.
"Several participants noted that the unseasonably warm weather of recent months added one more element of uncertainty to the interpretation of incoming data, and that this factor might account for a portion of the recent improvement in indicators of employment and housing."
"In a contrasting view, the improvements registered in labor market indicators could be seen as raising the likelihood that GDP data for the recent period would undergo a significant upward revision."
Inflation, meanwhile, "had been subdued of late, although the recent increase in crude oil and gasoline prices would push up inflation temporarily."