The US fight to curb inflation has been intensified by the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates. The biggest hike in rates since 1994 has analysts worried that there will be a recession.
The Federal Open Market Committee hiked in full.
After edging down in the first quarter, the economy seems to have picked up. The unemployment rate has not gone up in recent months. Higher energy prices and broader price pressures are reflected in inflation.
There is a lot of hardship caused by the invasion of Ukraine. The invasion and related events are putting downward pressure on inflation. Supply chain disruptions are likely to be worsened by COVID-related lockdowns. The committee pays attention to inflation risks.
The Committee wants maximum employment and inflation to be 2 percent over the long run. The committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 11/2 to 1-3/4 percent in order to support the goals. The Plans for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet that were issued in May show that the Committee will continue to reduce its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt. The Committee is determined to return inflation to its goal.
The Committee will keep a close eye on incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy if necessary. The Committee's assessments will take into account a lot of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations.
The monetary policy action was voted on by the Chair, John C. Williams, and the Vice Chair, Lael Brainard. Esther L. George preferred to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by a small amount. Patrick Harker was one of the alternate members at the meeting.