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Fed raises interest rates in largest hike since 1990s

The Federal Reserve chief said the rate increase is meant to combat rampant inflation

The US Federal Reserve has announced a 0.75% interest rate hike, the largest increase in 28 years, as the central bank’s chairman stressed the need to avoid a recession and tame runaway price inflation. 

The Fed’s Open Market Committee announced the decision on Wednesday, saying it would raise short term rates by 75 basis points in a move aimed at reducing inflation to 2%. Prior projections suggested that figure could reach 3.4% by the end of the year. 

“We’re not trying to induce a recession now, let’s be clear about that,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters following the committee meeting, though noted that spikes in certain commodity prices could “take the decision out of our hands.”

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US inflation jumps to 40-year high

While price inflation in the US had reached a 40-year high prior to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine in late February, the Fed committee went on to blame the “invasion of Ukraine” for “creating additional upward pressure on inflation,” also claiming that Covid-19 lockdowns in China “are likely to exacerbate supply chain disruptions” around the world.

The central bank had previously hinted that it would pursue a 0.50% rate increase – itself a record high since 2000 – but reversed course earlier this week and aired plans for a larger hike. While it now projects additional increases for the remainder of 2022, Powell said those likely would not exceed the 0.75% boost pushed through on Wednesday. 

“The next meeting could well be about a decision between 50 and 75 [basis points],” he said, referring to a Fed meeting scheduled for late July.

https://ift.tt/w4JGbC8 16, 2022 at 09:24AM
from RT – Daily news

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