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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Sept, 23, 2022 @acebreakingnews
#AceBreakingNews – US Federal Reserve warns conquering inflation will mean more interest rate hikes after announcing third 0.75pc rise in a row
The forceful stance has raised fears of a recession in the US, with Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell warning the process of conquering inflation will involve some pain.
It was the third consecutive increase of 0.75 per cent by the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is working to put a lid on inflation that has surged to its highest level in 40 years.
The interest rate increase — the fifth one this year — took the policy rate to 3-3.25 per cent.
The FOMC said it anticipated “ongoing increases … will be appropriate”.
Soaring prices have put the squeeze on American families and businesses.
They have also become a political liability for US President Joe Biden, with mid-term congressional elections in early November.
But a contraction of the world’s largest economy would be a more damaging blow to Mr Biden and the world at large.
Mr Powell has made it clear that officials will continue to act aggressively to cool the economy and avoid a repeat of the 1970s and early 1980s, the last time US inflation got out of control.
It took tough action — and a recession — to finally bring prices down in the 1980s, and the Fed is unwilling to give up its hard-won, inflation-fighting credibility.
Mr Powell said the US central bank was committed to raising interest rates and keeping them high until inflation came down, and he warned against reversing course too soon.
“The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy,” Mr Powell said.
He said there was no room for complacency and the Fed would “keep at it until the job is done”.
But he said at some point it would be appropriate to slow the pace of rate increases, depending on the data.
‘I wish there was a painless way’
Mr Powell acknowledged bringing inflation down would require a period of slower growth and higher unemployment, noting the job market was out of sync, with far more vacant positions than workers.
“We have got to get inflation behind us,” he said.
“I wish there were a painless way to do that. There isn’t.”Jerome Powell says there is no time for complacency, warning of more “pain” to come.(AP: Jacquelyn Martin )none
However, he said continued high inflation would be even more painful, especially to those least able to withstand it.
The Fed’s quarterly forecasts released with the rate decision show FOMC members expect US GDP growth to virtually flatline this year, rising just 0.2 per cent.
But they see a return to expansion in 2023, with annual growth of 1.2 per cent.
They project further rate hikes this year — totalling 1.25 percentage points — and more in 2023, with no cuts until 2024.
While the FOMC noted continued “robust” job gains in recent months and low unemployment, the jobless rate was forecast to rise to 4.4 per cent next year and hold around that level through 2025.
The FOMC statement noted the “broader price pressures” beyond food and energy, and stressed that officials were “strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2 per cent objective”.
The aim is to raise the cost of borrowing and cool demand, and it is having an impact: The housing market has slowed as mortgage rates have surged.
Many economists said at least a short period of negative US GDP in the first half of 2023 would be needed before inflation started coming down.
Nancy Vanden Houten of Oxford Economics said the updated Fed forecasts acknowledged “the toll that higher rates will take on the economy”, but said: “Their projections are more optimistic than our own.”
Stocks on Wall Street turned negative following the announcement, while the US dollar soared to a 20-year high.
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