Fed hikes rates by a quarter percentage point

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On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve implemented a quarter percentage point increase in interest rates while expressing caution about the recent banking crisis and signaling that future hikes may be coming to a close.

This marks the ninth hike since March 2022, and the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee emphasized that further increases are not guaranteed and will be primarily influenced by forthcoming data, CNBC reported.

“The Committee will closely monitor incoming information and assess the implications for monetary policy,” the FOMC’s post-meeting statement said. “The Committee anticipates that some additional policy firming may be appropriate in order to attain a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2 percent over time.”

The phrasing of the latest statement marks a deviation from prior declarations, which suggested that “continuing increases” were necessary to reduce inflation. The stock market experienced an initial increase following the Fed’s announcement, but ultimately closed lower for the day.

Although remarks made by Fed Chair Jerome Powell during a press conference were interpreted as indicating that the central bank might be approaching the conclusion of its rate-hiking cycle, he emphasized that the battle against inflation is not yet finished.

Written by staff