Federal Reserve Boosts Rates, Expects Banking Turbulence to Weigh on Inflation

The Federal Reserve announced that it will raise the target range for the federal funds rate to between 4.75% and 5% on Wednesday, marking a quarter point increase and its second such move of 2023. The Fed also raised the target range by a quarter point in early February.

In announcing the rate increase, the Fed also commented on “recent developments” in the U.S. Banking system, which it said “are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses and to weigh on economic activity, hiring and inflation,” while admitting “the extent of these effects is uncertain.”

The Fed raised rates seven times in 2022. The rate increases began in March and May, with the Fed continuing its efforts to curb rising inflation in June by increasing the federal funds rate to a range between 1.5% and 1.75%, which, according to Yahoo Finance, was “the largest move [the Fed] has made in a single meeting since 1994.” The Fed then followed up with an increase of the same magnitude in July, increasing the target range to 2.25% to 2.5%, followed by another three-quarter-point increase in late September and yet another in November. The Fed then increased rates for a seventh time in December, although by half a point instead of the three quarters of a point increases it issued in the other actions throughout the year.

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