The Fed has some reasons for cutting interest rates at its meeting July 31, or subsequently if the US economy weakens. (And there are some good arguments on the other side as well, if growth remains as strong as it has been over the last year.) But I find less persuasive one argument for easing: a perceived imperative to get inflation up to 2.0% or higher.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke set a 2% target for the US inflation rate in January 2012. Some other countries had already done the same. Japan followed suit a year later. Indeed Shinzo Abe’s successful accession to prime minister in late 2012 was predicated on the promise that monetary policy would raise inflation (Japan having previously suffered from negative inflation).