The US Federal Reserve increased its target interest rate percentage point quarter on February 1 and yet continued to promise an ongoing surge in the borrowing cost as part of its battle against inflation.
As per US central bank, the inflation has indeed eased to some extent but it sure does remain elevated. The central bank acknowledged the progress that was made in lessening the price increase pace right from the 40-year high which was experienced in 2022.
The Ukraine war for instance is still being seen as something which is adding to the global uncertainty as per Fed. However, the policymakers have now dropped the earlier statements’ language and cited COVID-19 and the war as the direct contributors to prices that are rising and have rooted out the dominance of the global health crisis for the first time ever since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Still, according to the Fed, the US economy happens to be enjoying some robust gains as well as modest growth, while policymakers are highly attentive to the risks arising from inflation.
The federal open market committee believes that the ongoing surge in the target range is going to be apt so as to attain a monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to get the inflation rate back to 2% with time. Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, emphasised that recent progress pertaining to inflation may look gratifying but is still not sufficient to signal an end to rate hikes.
The Fed’s decision on policy did lift the overnight interest rate benchmark to be in the range of 4.50%–4.75%, which is a move that was expected by investors and also flagged ahead of the meeting by the US central bankers.
However, in keeping with the promise of rate hikes to occur, the Fed pushed back against the anticipations of the investors that it was looking to flag the current tightening cycle’s end with an approval to the fact that the inflation was steadily decreasing for six months.