WASHINGTON (AP) — Hopes for interest rate cuts this year by the Federal Reserve are steadily fading, with a stream of recent remarks by Fed officials underscoring their intention to keep borrowing costs high as long as needed to curb persistently elevated inflation.

A key reason for the delay in rate cuts is that the inflation pressures that are bedeviling the economy are being driven largely by lingering forces from the pandemic — for items ranging from apartment rents to auto insurance to hospital prices.

Though Fed officials say they expect inflation in those areas to eventually cool, they’ve signaled that they’re prepared to wait as long as it takes.

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