On Wednesday, Federal Reserve officials announced that they would be raising interest rates by yet another .75 percentage points.
According to Market Watch, the new hike comes as the central bank attempts to curb inflation, which has risen to 40-year records.
The raise follows one in June of the same amount, when officials began expressing increased worries about inflation in the US. The latest consumer price index report showed that inflation had risen 9.1 percent from the June prior, reaching a high not seen in 41 years.
This latest hike brings the main policy rate with the central bank to a range of 2.25 to 2.5 percent, which Market Watch calls “roughly the level that is considered neutral, where interest rates neither stimulate nor restrict economic activity.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said that .75 point-rate hikes will not be common, and a recent slowdown in increased consumer inflation expectations suggest that the Fed will issue these hikes in smaller increments through the remainder of the year.
According to Market Watch, economists on Wall Street expect these rates to top out at around 3.5 percent, which is above this neutral rate.
June’s interest rate hike marked the highest increase since 1994, an aggressive effort to curb some of the highest levels of inflation the country has seen in nearly half a century.
Powell had indicated last month that another drastic measure would be taken at their next meeting, stating that a 50 to 75 point increase “seems most likely at our next meeting,” adding that “We will however make our decisions meeting by meeting and we’ll continue to communicate our thinking as clearly as we can.”
“It is essential that we bring inflation down if we were to have a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all. From the standpoint of our congressional mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability, the current picture is plain to see.
“The labor market is extremely tight and inflation is much too high. Against this backdrop, today, the Federal Open Market Committee raised its policy interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point and anticipates that ongoing increases in that rate will be appropriate,” Powell said in June.
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