The Federal Reserve approved another quarter-percentage-point interest rate hike on Wednesday, shortly before signaling that it would likely raise rates again once more in 2023, according to CNBC.
What’s going on: In its ninth rate increase in the past year, the central bank raised the benchmark federal funds rate to a range of between 4.75 and 5%, the highest level in more than 15 years.
- The “terminal rate”—the ultimate rate the Fed has set as the target for this full cycle of increases—remains unchanged from 5.1%.
What they’re saying: “‘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 statement’s wording marks a departure from previous statements, which had indicated that “ongoing increases” would be needed to curb inflation. This is likely a reflection of the recent turmoil in the banking industry.
- The Fed said it was unsure of the long-term effects of that turmoil, though it noted the financial events would probably continue to “weigh on” inflation, hiring and other economic activity.
What’s next: “The next two years’ worth of projections … showed considerable disagreement among [Fed] members,” CNBC reports. “Still, the median of the estimates points to a 0.8 percentage point reduction in rates in 2024 and 1.2 percentage points worth of cuts in 2025.”
- The Fed’s next meeting is May 2–3.