By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers concluded last month that they would accelerate their tightening of credit if inflation failed to slow in the coming months. Most officials agreed that faster interest rate hikes would be needed “if inflation does not move down” as the Fed’s policymaking committee expects, according to the minutes of the central bank’s late January policy meeting. The minutes underscore the urgency that the Fed feels about reining in a sharp spike of inflation, which has persisted longer and broadened to more industries than the policymakers had expected. As recently as December, Fed officials forecast that inflation, based on their preferred measure, would fall to an annual rate of 2.6%.