US Fed hikes interest rate by 75bps

Published June 16, 2022
— AFP/File
— AFP/File

WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve announced the most aggressive interest rate increase in nearly 30 years, raising the benchmark borrowing rate by 0.75 percentage points on Wednesday as it battles against surging inflation.

The Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Com­­m­ittee reaffirmed that it remains “strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2pc objective” and expects to continue to raise the key rate.

Until recently, the central bank seemed set to approve a 0.5-percentage-point increase, but economists say the rapid surge in inflation put the Fed behind the curve, meaning it needed to react strongly to prove its resolve to combat inflation The super-sized move was the first 75-basis-point increase since November 1994.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference after the meeting to provide more details on the central bank’s plans, which will be closely watched for signals on how aggressive policymakers will be in coming meetings.

Committee members now see the federal funds rate ending the year at 3.4pc, up from the 1.9pc projection in March, according to the median quarterly forecast.

Published in Dawn,June 16th, 2022

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