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Fed Hikes Rates Amid Inflation Concerns, Robust Job Gains

Source: Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve raised interest rates in response to persistent inflation and robust job gains in the first quarter of this year.

To rein in elevated inflation rates, the central bank raised the target range for the federal funds rate to 5 to 5-1/4 percent.

The Committee emphasized its commitment to returning inflation to its 2 percent objective and continued vigilance for inflation risks.

Economic activity expanded modestly in the first quarter, with solid job gains and a persistently low unemployment rate.

However, the U.S. banking system faces challenges as tighter credit conditions for households and businesses could affect economic activity, hiring, and inflation.

The Committee will closely monitor the effects of these conditions on the economy.

In support of the objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation over the longer run, the Committee will continue to evaluate incoming information and its implications for monetary policy.

It will assess the extent of additional policy firming needed to return inflation to 2 percent, taking into account factors such as the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags in the effects of monetary policy on economic activity and inflation, and other financial and economic developments.

In addition, the Committee will continue its previously announced plans to reduce its holdings of Treasury securities, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities.

In making its assessments, the Committee will monitor various information, including labor market conditions, inflation pressures and expectations, and financial and international developments.