US Fed hikes interest rates by 25 basis points

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The United States Federal Reserve on Thursday raised its benchmark interest
rate by 25 basis points as part of its fight against inflation, blaming partly the
Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously decided to raise
the target range for the federal funds rate to between 4.5 percent and 4.75

In seven hikes, the US central bank raised the rate by a total of 425 points last

“Inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated,” the FOMC said in a
statement. “Russia’s war against Ukraine is causing tremendous human and
economic hardship and is contributing to elevated global uncertainty.”

The Fed’s aggressive monetary tightening is a result of record consumer and
producer prices, which are still hovering around their highest level in 40 years.
Citing reports quoting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Rizal
Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael
Ricafort said the Fed has hinted for two more rate hikes until May.
Meanwhile, he said “mostly softer US economic data that supports less
hawkish Fed but could signal risk of recession.”


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