Fed raises interest rates, expects ‘ongoing’ increases

US admin discusses raising the debt ceiling

The U.S. central bank has raised interest rates again, giving little indication that it is nearing the end of the hiking cycle, CNBC reported.

Federal Research raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point. 

The move marked the eighth increase in a process that began in March 2022. 

However, it does make this hike the smallest increase that has been made since March of last year. There has been a year of aggressive rate hikes. 

But officials are still warning that they did not think they were finished raising rates, despite signs that price increases in the U.S. are slowing.

The rate rise announced by the Fed on Wednesday was expected. It increases the bank’s benchmark rate to a range of 4.5 percent to 4.75 percent, making it the highest since 2007.

By pushing up borrowing costs, the Fed is trying to cool the economy and ease the pressures pushing up prices.

The Fed is targeting the hikes to bring down inflation that, despite recent signs of slowing, is still running near its highest level since the early 1980s.

“Inflation data received over the past three months show a welcome reduction in the monthly pace of increases,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. 

“And while recent developments are encouraging, we will need substantially more evidence to be confident that inflation is on a sustained downward path.”

Markets had been looking to the Fed meeting for signs that the rate increases would be ending soon. The Chairman’s statement made no such signals. 

Officials said they would determine the “extent” of future rate increases based on factors such as the effects so far of the rate hikes, the lags in which policy has an impact, and developments in financial conditions and the economy. 

The bank’s moves are closely watched around the world as the U.S. drives a global shift after years of low-interest rates that followed the financial crisis.

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