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Federal Reserve Chair Hints at More Interest Rate Hikes This Year

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Federal Reserve Chair Hints at More Interest Rate Hikes This Year

Federal Reserve Chair Hints at More Interest Rate Hikes This Year

  • After 10 straight rate rises, the Federal Reserve halted interest rate hikes in June.
  • Two more rate hikes minimum this year, he said, would be necessary.

On Wednesday, at a panel discussion of central bankers organized by the ECB in Sintra, Portugal, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the Fed’s hawkish approach. Powell stressed that the Fed is not done managing inflation and indicated the potential of consecutive interest rate rises ahead of the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on July 25-26. After 10 straight rate rises, the Federal Reserve halted in June.

The Fed Chair stated:

“If you look at the data over the last quarter, what you see is stronger than expected growth, a tighter than expected labor market, and higher than expected inflation.”

Minimum Two Hikes This Year

Powell said that the Federal Reserve has not settled on the timing or extent of future interest rate rises. The Fed chair elaborated at a Thursday event hosted by the Bank of Spain in Madrid, saying, “We expect the moderate pace of interest rate decisions to continue.”

Two more rate hikes minimum this year, he said, would be necessary to bring inflation down to the Fed’s 2% aim. It will be acceptable to decrease rates at a time when inflation is going down pretty dramatically, the Fed chairman said, but that period is yet a couple of years away.

The positive economic statistics (a revised 2% GDP gain and a fall in weekly unemployment claims) gave possible support for the Federal Reserve’s intentions to raise interest rates two more times in 2023, but U.S. stock markets generally brushed it off. These hawkish monetary policies have caused widespread market volatility over the previous 12 months.

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