Officials from the Federal Reserve increased interest rates for the third time in a row by 75 basis points and predicted that they would reach 4.6% in 2023, intensifying their efforts to stave off inflation that has persisted at or around the highest levels since the 1980s.
Following a two-day meeting in Washington, the Federal Open Market Committee reiterated that it “is particularly sensitive to inflation risks” in a statement released on Wednesday. Additionally, the central bank reaffirmed its “anticipation that ongoing hikes in the target range will be acceptable” and “strong commitment” to getting inflation back to its 2% aim.
The decision, which was made unanimously, raises the goal range for the benchmark federal funds rate from near zero at the beginning of this year to 3% to 3.25%, which is the highest level since before the 2008 financial crisis.
According to the median estimate in revised quarterly predictions published accompanied the statement, officials anticipate that the benchmark rate would increase to 4.4% by year’s end and 4.6% during 2023.
This suggests that a fourth consecutive 75 basis-point increase could be discussed at the next meeting in November, which will take place approximately a week before the congressional elections.
Rates were predicted to decline further, to 3.9% in 2024 and 2.9% in 2025.
The forecasts, which indicated a sharper rate path than policymakers predicted in June, highlight the Fed’s determination to contain inflation despite the possibility that rising borrowing rates may push the US into a recession.
Prior to the announcement, traders predicted that rates would peak at 4.5% in the first half of 2023 before declining by around a half point by the end of the year.