This story has been updated with Powell's remarks. The Federal Reserve hiked rates by a quarter point on Wednesday, an expected move in its fight against inflation. It marks the smallest increase since last March, and is down from December's half-point increase. CNBC reports it marks the 8th hike in a row. The move puts the target range at 4.50% to 4.75%, getting ever closer to the Fed’s estimated end point of 5% to 5.25%. Per the Wall Street Journal, "that would imply an additional quarter-point rate hike at each of the Fed’s upcoming meetings in March and May, followed by a pause." One early take, from CNBC:
- "Markets ... were looking to this week’s meeting for signs that the Fed would be ending the rate increases soon. But the statement provided no such signals. The document included language noting that the [Federal Open Market Committee] still sees the need for 'ongoing increases in the target range.' Market participants had been hoping for some softening of the phrase, but the statement, approved unanimously, kept it intact."
In his remarks after the rate decision was announced, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the "disinflation process has started, but "we're going to be cautious about declaring victory," the New York Times
reports. He said "we're talking about a couple more rate hikes" to make sure inflation is under control, and he doesn't think rates will be cut later in the year. (Read more Federal Reserve