Several banking failures in the US this month have raised fears about the health of the financial system. The collapses follow a sharp rise in global borrowing costs, led by the US, which has shocked the world economy and raised worries about a painful downturn known as a recession.
The Federal Reserve following a two day meeting announced it decided on Wednesday to raise its key interest rate a quarter point arguing that although inflation is easing it is still too high, and did not discard further rate hikes could be needed since more evidence is needed to be confident inflation is in a sustained downward path. The increase was the eighth since March.
In a unanimous decision the United States Federal Reserve FOMC raised interest rates by half a percentage point on Wednesday, as it continues to battle a stubborn inflation, but the increase was lower than the three-quarter point which it had implemented seven times since last March, from zero to 4,5%.
Challenged by the highest level of inflation experienced in the US in over 40 years, the Federal Reserve decided on Wednesday a third consecutive interest rate hike of 75 basis points, bringing the benchmark rate up to a range of 3.0% to 3.25% from 2.25% to 2.50%.
The United States Federal Reserve and the Bank of England this week are scheduled to hike interest rates steeply again in a bid to tame inflation. The two central banks are expected to look through recession fears and continue their fight against extraordinary price rises.
The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell said on Friday that the job of lowering inflation is not done, and we will keep at it until we are confident the job is done. Powell was speaking at the Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, an event closely followed by markets and pundits, trying to anticipate future actions.
For the fourth time running since March the United States Federal Reserve on Wednesday increased benchmark interest rates 75 basis points to its highest level since 2018, in yet another significant effort to contain inflation which is running at a forty-year high of 9,1%, but at the same time avoiding a recession.
Jerome H. Powell on Monday took the oath of office for his second term as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Vice-Chair Lael Brainard administered Chair Powell's oath in the press briefing room of the Board's Martin Building.
United States markets on Wednesday reacted positively to the Federal Reserve's 50 points basis rate increase, the first of such magnitude since 2000, to try and control inflation. Likewise stocks rallied on Fed chair Jerome Powell's announcement ruling out larger rate hikes and underscoring the possibility of a soft landing, avoiding a recession.
With US inflation reaching 6,8% in November, the highest in four decades, and following a two-day meeting, the Federal Reserve announced it was ending its asset purchase program earlier than expected anticipating several interest rate increases in 2022.