Speed Reads

Rate ramp-up

Federal Reserve raises interest rates by 0.75 points to combat inflation

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve decided to raise short-term interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, making it the third super-hike after ones in June and July. The increase is once again intended to combat the high level of inflation being experienced by the U.S. and much of the world. The higher rate aims to slow the market, but will likely put pressure on many households and businesses, The Washington Post reports. 

This is the fifth interest rate hike this year; however, it has done little to combat rapidly increasing prices due to inflation. The current annual inflation rate is about 8.3 percent, reflecting a stark increase in the price of groceries and utilities, especially electricity, reports NPR. Price increases have also been seen in goods and services not directly affected by the pandemic or the war in Ukraine, which could be a sign that inflation is a longer-term problem.

The economic projections also predict that unemployment will rise from 3.7 percent, the current level, to 3.8 percent by the end of the year and 4.4 percent by the end of 2023, the Post continues. This could lead to a recession in the coming year, but Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cannot confirm whether a recession will happen, or the severity if it did. 

"Recent indicators point to modest growth in spending and production," the Fed said. "Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low."